RIL AGM: Jio to invest Rs 2 trn in 5G; pan-Indian rollout by Dec 2023
Reliance Jio will invest Rs 2 lakh crore for the 5G services rollout, beginning with metro cities in October as it looks to take lead in the launch of ultra-high-speed internet services.
Jio’s superfast 5G services will be launched in key cities — including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata — by Diwali, Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani said on Monday as he underlined the company’s commitment to make India the largest data-powered economy in the world, beating China and the United States.
India deserves nothing less than “True 5G”, Ambani said at Reliance Industries’ 45th AGM and emphasised that 5G cannot remain an exclusive service available only to the privileged few or only to those in the largest cities.
Digital freedom is the birthright of every Indian, he asserted.
The company showcased the potential of JioAirFiber (its high-speed fixed-broadband offering) and Jio Cloud PC (virtual computer hosted in the cloud) and said combined might of the two along with Jio 5G would be a ‘gamechanger’.
Jio would deploy the latest version of the fifth generation offering ‘standalone 5G’, which has zero dependency on the 4G network.
With this, Jio can deliver new and powerful services, such as low latency connectivity, massive machine-to-machine communication, 5G voice, Edge computing and network slicing, and metaverse, Ambani said.
“We are also working very closely with all leading global smartphone OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), and we have their commitment that they will support Jio’s True 5G,” he informed.
To build a pan-India ‘True 5G network’, the company has committed a total investment of Rs 2 lakh crore, Ambani said as he unveiled “an ambitious and fastest ever 5G roll-out plan”.
“Within the next two months, that is by Diwali of 2022, we will launch Jio 5G across multiple key cities, including the metro cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai,” he added.
Subsequently, the company will increase its footprint to deliver Jio 5G to “every town, every taluka, and every tehsil of our country” by December 2023.
In addition to powering ultra-low latency connections, which allow downloading full-length high-quality video or movie to a mobile device in a matter of seconds (even in crowded areas), typically the fifth-generation or 5G services enable various solutions, such as e-health, connected vehicles, more immersive augmented reality and metaverse experiences, life-saving use cases, and advanced mobile cloud gaming, among others.
Recently, the country’s biggest ever auction of telecom spectrum received a record Rs 1.5 lakh crore worth of bids, with Mukesh Ambani’s Jio cornering nearly half of all the airwaves sold with an Rs 87,946.93 crore bid.
“We will use our combined wireless and wireline assets to cover 3.3 million square kilometres of India’s land mass, with fibre-quality broadband, connecting even those parts of the country where satellite technology was the only option for connectivity,” Ambani said.
Jio has an indigenously developed 5G stack — which is fully-cloud native, software-defined, and digitally managed, with support for advanced features like Quantum Security.
“We have already deployed this Made-In-India 5G stack in our network, with sufficient capacity to serve hundreds of millions of users right from day one. Furthermore, Jio 5G is uniquely positioned to offer captive or private 5G solutions for Indian enterprises at owner’s economics,” Ambani said.
Showcasing various possibilities of Jio 5G at the AGM, Akash Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Jio, said the new offerings will enable immersive content, consistently in ultra-high-definition quality, irrespective of where users are. It will offer a “dramatically superior experience” during video-streaming and video-calling mobile applications.
The ultra-low latency of Jio 5G will bring real-time applications like cloud gaming, and in the near future, enable immersive experiences like augmented reality with JioGlass and similar devices from partners.
“An even more exciting possibility of Jio 5G is the ultra-high-speed fixed-broadband. Since you get fibre-like speeds over the air without any wires, we are calling it JioAirFiber,” Akash Ambani said, adding that connecting home or office quickly to gigabit-speed Internet will be possible through the new offering.
JioAirFiber Home Gateway, a wireless, single-device solution, will create a personal Wi-Fi hotspot at home, connected to ultra-high-speed internet using 5G.
The company said JioAirFiber will open up experiences, such as interactive live content, cloud gaming and immersive shopping.
“With such a simple process, literally hundreds of millions of homes and offices can be connected to ultra-high-speed broadband, that too in a very short period of time. And India can rank among the top-10 nations, even for fixed broadband,” Akash Ambani said.
The giga-bit speed of JioAirFiber will deliver not just one but multiple video streams for cricket matches, showing multiple camera angles at the same time in ultra-high definition. On the other hand, Jio Cloud PC, a virtual PC hosted in the cloud, would free users from the cycle of shelling out money for the frequent upgrade of PC or laptops.
‘Factories of the future’ and Industry 4.0 will be powered by private 5G, the company said, citing examples like autonomous robotic vehicles to move goods in the demanding environment of a factory floor.
Such vehicles can be monitored and controlled in real-time, using Jio Private 5G, it added.
Other applications of 5G would be in areas from energy to agriculture, and from healthcare to education.
The company said the current 800 million connected internet devices will double to 1.5 billion connected internet devices in just a year, with 5G being rolled out in India.
“We are working with Google to develop ultra-affordable 5G smartphones for India. We will also leverage the advanced capabilities of Google Cloud to offer Jio’s Private 5G stack and other 5G-enabled solutions to both domestic and global users at scale,” Mukesh Ambani said.
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