Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) held its 44th AGM (Post-IPO) on Thursday, 24th June 2021 and Chairman Mukesh Ambani briefed its investors and made announcements related to various initiatives by RIL. Major announcements include formalizing the partnership deal with Saudi Aramco by the end of 2021, partnership with Google for 5G in India, an ultra-affordable smartphone – JioPhone Next- a fully-featured smartphone supporting the entire suite of applications from both Google and Jio.
Speaking at the AGM Mukesh said that JIO has truly democratized digital connectivity in India by offering the highest quality, most affordable 4G broadband services in the world. Even so, India still has nearly 300 million mobile users who are unable to escape from inefficient and exorbitant 2G services because even a basic 4G smartphone remains unaffordable for these users.
Mukesh said that an ultra-affordable 4G smartphone is essential to make India “2G-mukt”.
“Today, I am pleased to announce that Google and JIO teams have jointly developed a truly breakthrough Smartphone, that we are calling JIOPHONE Next,” he added.
JIOPHONE Next is a fully-featured smartphone, supporting the entire suite of applications from both Google and Jio, as well as the Android Play Store through which users will have access to the entire universe of Android Apps.
JIOPHONE Next is powered by an extremely optimized version of the Android Operating System, that has been jointly developed by JIO and Google, especially for the Indian market.
While being ultra-affordable, JIOPHONE Next is packed with cutting-edge features like the voice assistant, automatic read-aloud of screen text, language translation, smart camera with augmented reality filters, and much more. JIOPHONE Next will be available in the market from 10th September 2021.
Sundar Pichai, CEO, Alphabet during his speech at the RIL AGM Saïd, “Our vision was to bring affordable access to information for Indians in their own language, to build new products and services for India’s unique needs, and empower businesses with technology. I’m excited that today, we can announce the next steps in this vision: Starting with a new, affordable, Jio smartphone, created with Google.”
“Our teams have optimized a version of our Android OS, especially for this device.
It will offer language and translation features, a great camera, and support for the latest Android updates.It is built for India and it will open up new possibilities for millions of new users who will experience the internet for the very first time. I’m also proud to announce that we are taking our collaboration further, with a new 5G partnership between Google Cloud and Jio,” Pichai added.
In spite of COVID, JIO sustained its track record of robust performance and became the first operator outside China to cross 400 million mobile subscribers in a single country.
“We are truly grateful to all our valued customers. Thanks to them, JIO is today the world’s second-largest mobile data carrier handling monthly traffic of over 630 crore GIGABYTES. This is nearly 45% growth in data consumption in the last year alone, a testament to the rapid pace at which India is digitizing,” said Mukesh Ambani.
“During recent spectrum auctions, we invested `57,123 crores to acquire significant additional spectrum, making JIO the largest operator of 4G spectrum in India. And we have operationalized nearly 100% of this additional spectrum.
When combined with another `15,183 crores we invested in further expanding our network infrastructure, JIO has raised the bar even higher for service quality and JIO’s leadership is evident across India along with all key metrics like indoor coverage, download speeds, and video experience,” he added.
More importantly these investments have also created the capacity to on-board an additional 200 million customers on JIO’s network thereby bringing digital empowerment to even more Indians.