Reliance Jio world's biggest startup with 1.5 lakh cr

Reliance Jio world
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Promising up to 80-times faster internet with his ambitious venture Reliance Jio, top industrialist Mukesh Ambani on Wednesday said his group has invested Rs 1.5 lakh crore in this initiative - the biggest-ever for any digital startup globally.

Mukesh Ambani promises 80-times faster internet across 90 per cent of the country by 2017
Mumbai : Promising up to 80-times faster internet with his ambitious venture Reliance Jio, top industrialist Mukesh Ambani on Wednesday said his group has invested Rs 1.5 lakh crore in this initiative - the biggest-ever for any digital startup globally.

Ambani also said Jio would target to expand the high-speed internet coverage in the country to over 90 per cent by 2017, but remained silent on the exact commercial launch date of the much-awaited service.

Speaking here at the inaugural session of Ficci Frames 2016, Reliance Industries Chairman said the opportunity to transform lives of 1.3 billion people motivated him to re-enter telecom sector and he believes Jio will drive the country's ranking in mobile Internet access to among top 10 from 150 currently.

"As the world goes digital, we cannot afford to be left behind. Today, we are ranked 150 in the mobile internet access rankings among 230 countries. 1.3 billion people can’t be left behind as the world enters a new era," Ambani said.

Ficci Frames is India's largest media and entertainment industry's gathering where the who's who of the industry and top government officials brainstorm on various issues.

"I have no doubt with the launch of Jio our ranking will go up from 150 to among the top 10 in the next few years. Jio is one of the largest transformational green-field digital initiatives anywhere in the world with an investment of over Rs 1.5 trillion," Ambani said.

The company was planning to commercially launch high-speed 4G network with focus on data services by last December, but later delayed the official launch. The company has not offered an official reason for the delay or the next possible date.

Domestic media and entertainment industry has grown from $2 billion in 2004 to $18 billion in 2015, and it will be $100 billion in the next decade, Ambani said.

"To my mind, digitisation is the defining trend of this century. If you don't have a globally competitive digital tool, you will simply not survive, you will be disrupted, outcompeted, left behind and become irrelevant," he said.

On how Jio will aid the digital transformation, Ambani said the telecom offering will start services with 70 per cent coverage of the population from day 1, and the services will be very affordable.

"With the efforts that Jio and all partners are making, high-speed internet coverage will be over 90 per cent by 2017," he said. Ambani promised quality offering, wherein Jio will offer speeds that are 40-80 times faster than the current Internet speed today.

He also said Jio's network is engineered to provide a capacity of over 10 gigabytes of data per person, which is 100 times the current data consumption average of 0.15 gigabytes a user per annum.

"All of this is of no use if we cannot make it accessible and affordable to all and across the country," Ambani said. Outlining five mega trends that define digital future, he said the world is moving from oral to visual medium and that "video will be the new voice of the network industry, driving learning, communication and entertainment".

Digital India, a $1-trn biz opportunity
The government's Digital India initiative is a $1 trillion business opportunity across IT and IT-enabled services, telecom and electronics manufacturing, Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said here on Wednesday.

"Nearly $400 billion will be added from the electronics manufacturing, including mobile phones, solar panels etc., while $350 billion opportunity will be presented by the IT and ITeS sector," the Minister said at the inauguration of FICCI-Frames 2016 Media & Entertainment Industry Conclave.

"The aspirational urge of Indians is driving the digital world in a phenomenal way. And the government's job is to create an enabling eco-system for its growth," he said.

"If industry needs more policy initiatives, the government is open to it," he added. Internet penetration has reached 400 million in India, 60 percent of it being mobile internet.

He also said India with one billion mobile phone connections has overtaken the US to become the second largest mobile phone market in the world behind China.

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