Reliance Jio, the telecom branch of Reliance Industries, is all set to launch its long-awaited 4G services in the country. Ahead of the rollout, chairman Mukesh Ambani talked about the transformative power of affordable data services, stating that the carrier has a responsibility to end "digital poverty" in the country.
As the world goes digital, India and Indians cannot afford to be left behind. Today, India is ranked around 150th in mobile Internet rankings out of 230 countries. We have a responsibility. To digitally empower India. To end this digital poverty.
It is this opportunity to transform the lives of our 1.3 billion Indians that motivated Reliance to enter and transform the entire digital ecosystem. I have no doubt that with the launch of Jio, India's rank will go up from 150 to among the top 10 of mobile Internet rankings in the world.
India has the lowest connection speeds in the world, with an average speed of broadband connection at 2.8Mbps. Cellular data connectivity is even worse, with most regions still relying on 2G connectivity. Reliance is looking to change all that with its 4G service, which will be accessible throughout the country.
Reliance invested ₹1,50,000 crores ($22.5 billion) in its network infrastructure over the last few years to build an ecosystem of devices and services around its data platform. For now, the carrier is looking to expand coverage to 70 percent (from 15 percent), offer broadband that's 40 to 80 times faster, make its services available in more cities and towns, and ensure that they remain affordable. That's a tall order, but just like how the carrier disrupted the telecom industry at the turn of the century, it is looking to do the same with data services:
The true power of technology is its ability to make human life better. The future belongs to creative empathizers, pattern recognisers, meaning makers. Because technology changes, but humanity evolves. And any transformation is eventually about humanity.
If you are not digital, and if you don't have globally competitive digital tools and skills, you will simply not survive. You'll get disrupted. You will be out-competed. You will be left behind. You will become irrelevant.
There's no mention of a concrete launch date for when Jio will be available to consumers, but we will let you know of any further developments.