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  1. India’s Reliance Jio, which has disrupted the local telecom and features phone markets in less than three years of existence, is ready to foray into many more businesses. In a series of announcements Monday, which included a long-term partnership with global giant Microsoft, Reliance Jio said it will commercially roll out its broadband service next month; an IoT platform with ambitions to power more than a billion devices on January 1 next year; and “one of the world’s biggest blockchain networks” in the next 12 months — all while also scaling its retail and commerce businesses. The broadband service, called Jio Fiber, is aimed at individual customers, small and medium-sized businesses as well as enterprises, Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries and Asia’s richest man, said at a shareholders’ meeting today. The service, which is being initially targeted at 20 million homes and 15 million businesses in 1,600 towns, will start rolling out commercially starting September 5. Ambani said more than half a million customers have already been testing the broadband service, which was first unveiled last year. The broadband service will come bundled with access to hundreds of TV channels and free calls across India and at discounted rates to the U.S. and Canada, Ambani said. The service, the cheapest tier of which will offer internet speeds of 100Mbps, will be priced at Rs 700 (~$10) a month. The company said it will offer various plans to meet a variety of needs, including those of customers who want access to gigabit internet speeds. Continuing its tradition to woo users with significant “free stuff,” Jio, which is a subsidiary of India’s largest industrial house (Reliance Industries) said customers who opt for the yearly plan of its fiber broadband will be provided with the set-top box and an HD or 4K TV at no extra charge. Specific details weren’t immediately available. A premium tier, which will be available starting next year, will allow customers to watch many movies on the day of their public release. The broadband service will bundle games from many popular studios, including Microsoft Game Studios, Riot Games, Tencent Games and Gameloft, Jio said. Partnership with Microsoft The company also announced a 10-year partnership with Microsoft to launch new cloud data centers in India to ensure “more of Jio’s customers can access the tools and platforms they need to build their own digital capability,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in a video appearance Monday. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella talks about the company’s partnership with Reliance Jio “At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Core to this mission is deep partnerships, like the one we are announcing today with Reliance Jio. Our ambition is to help millions of organizations across India thrive and grow in the era of rapid technological change.” “Together, we will offer a comprehensive technology solution, from compute to storage, to connectivity and productivity for small and medium-sized businesses everywhere in the country,” he added. As part of the partnership, Nadella said, Jio and Microsoft will jointly offer Azure, Microsoft 365 and Microsoft AI platforms to more organizations in India, and also bring Azure Cognitive Services to more devices and in 13 Indian languages to businesses in the country. The solutions will be “accessible” to reach as many people and organizations in India as possible, he added. The cloud services will be offered to businesses for as little as Rs 1,500 ($21) per month. The first two data centers will be set up in Gujarat and Maharashtra by next year. Jio will migrate all of its non-networking apps to the Microsoft Azure platform and promote its adoption among its ecosystem of startups, the two said in a joint statement. The foray into broadband business and push to court small enterprises come as Reliance Industries, which dominates the telecom and retail spaces in India, attempts to diversify from its marquee oil and gas business. Reliance Jio, the nation’s top telecom operator, has amassed more than 340 million subscribers in less than three years of its commercial operations. At the meeting, Ambani also unveiled that Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil producer Aramco was buying a 20% stake in $75 billion worth Reliance Industries’ oil-to-chemicals business. Like other Silicon Valley companies, Microsoft sees massive potential in India, where tens of millions of users and businesses have come online for the first time in recent years. Cloud services in India are estimated to generate a revenue of $2.4 billion this year, up about 25% from last year, according to research firm Gartner. Microsoft has won several major clients in India in recent years, including insurance giant ICICI Lombard. Today’s partnership could significantly boost Microsoft’s footprint in India, posing a bigger headache for Amazon and Google. Ambani also said Reliance Retail, the nation’s largest retailer, is working on a “digital stack” to create a new commerce partnership platform in India to reach tens of millions of merchants, consumers and producers. Ambani said Reliance Industries plans to list both Reliance Retail and Jio publicly in the next years. “We have received strong interests from strategic and financial investors in our consumer businesses — Jio and Reliance Retail. We will induct leading global partners in these businesses in the next few quarters and move towards listing of both these companies within the next five years,” he said. The announcement comes weeks after Reliance Industries acquired for $42.3 million a majority stake in Fynd, a Mumbai-based startup that connects brick and mortar retailers with online stores and consumers. Reliance Industries has previously stated plans to launch a new e-commerce firm in the country. Without revealing specific details, Ambani also said that Jio is building an IoT platform to control at least one billion of the two billion IoT devices in India by next year. He said he sees IoT as a $2.8 billion revenue opportunity for Jio. Similarly, the company also plans to expand its blockchain network across India, he said. “Using blockchain, we can deliver unprecedented security, trust, automation and efficiency to almost any type of transaction. And using blockchain, we also have an opportunity to invent a brand-new model for data privacy where Indian data, especially customer data is owned and controlled through technology by the Indian people an d not by corporate, especially global corporations,” he added. Source
  2. The AchieVer

    Reliance Jio hits 300 million customers

    Reliance Jio hits 300 million customers Reliance Jio added 120 million customers during the year, with the Indian carrier clocking in at 307 million customers by the end of FY19. Indian carrier Reliance Jio has announced surpassing the 300 million customer milestone, clocking in at 306.7 million digital services subscribers by the end of the fourth quarter of FY19. During the quarter, it added 26.6 million net customers and during the year, it added 120 million. Jio also has the lowest churn in the industry, at just 0.75% per month, Reliance said. For the future, Reliance said it is looking to provide 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) offerings across its mobile network. "Jio has built a next generation all-IP data network with latest 4G LTE technology. It is the only network built as a mobile video network and for providing voice-over-LTE technology. It has built a future-ready network with extensive fiber rollout across the country which can easily deploy 5G and beyond technology in the last leg," the company said in its results report. "Jio has created a strong data network with infrastructure and backhaul for offering wireless services, wireline services, FttH, enterprise offering, IoT services, and other digital services. These will lead to sustained growth in data consumption on the network." For the full year, digital services brought in 46,506 crore rupees, up 94.5% from the year prior. Average revenue per user (ARPU) for the fourth quarter was 126.2 rupees per month. Jio will soon attain 99% of the 4G LTE network population coverage. Across its fibre-to-the-home broadband, JioGigaFiber is being deployed across 1,600 cities to provide home, enterprise, entertainment, wireline, and smart home services. "The go-to-market strategy is being optimised with successful test results from beta trials across the country," Reliance said on its fibre offerings. "Customer feedback during the trials has been very encouraging. Jio is currently optimising its service offerings across fixed broadband, entertainment, and IoT-based smart home solutions." In November, OpenSignal published a report on Indian mobile telecommunications, calling Jio "remarkable" and "hugely impressive" with its rapid rate of customer growth. OpenSignal said Jio scored 96.7% on 4G availability, trailed by its competitors. "The operator has managed to achieve availability scores of over 95 percent in all of India's regions, despite huge variations in topography, and in the face of massive increases in subscribers and data consumption," OpenSignal said. "4G Availability scores of over 95% are very rare, particularly remarkable in a relatively new LTE market like India ... Jio has recently secured infrastructure assets from now-defunct rival RCOM, while it is now turning its attention to the fixed-line sector, meaning we expect to see no let-up in the Jio success story." Jio also won across latency, with an average of 72.2 milliseconds, and tied first with Airtel and Vodafone on the category of "video experience", which analyses how customers experience video streaming including load time, stalling rates, and picture quality. In total for FY19, Reliance reported full-year net profit of 39,588 crore rupees on revenue of 622,809 crore rupees, increasing by 13.1% and 44.6%, respectively. "During FY 2018-19, we achieved several milestones and made significant strides in building Reliance of the future. Reliance Retail crossed ₹ 100,000 crore revenue milestone, Jio now serves over 300 million consumers, and our petrochemicals business delivered its highest ever earnings," Reliance Industries chair and managing director Mukesh D Ambani said. On Monday, Reliance denied reports that it had breached US sanctions by purchasing Venezuelan crude oil from companies. "Since sanctions were imposed, Reliance has made such purchases with the full knowledge and approval of the US Department of State (USDOS), and Reliance has informed USDOS of specific volumes and transactions," Reliance said in a statement. "Such transactions do not lead to any consequent payment to PDVSA and do not violate U.S. sanctions or policies." Source
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