Reliance announces Google partnerships at AGM

25 Jun 2021

Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio), the telecom services arm of Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), has partnered with US-based internet giant Google and will use the latter’s Google Cloud for a range of 5G services, the Economic Times writes, citing RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani, who made the announcement at the group’s AGM. According to Ambani, Google – which holds a 7.73% stake in Jio Platforms, the holding company for RIL’s digital businesses and Jio’s parent company – will collaborate with Jio on the provision of 5G edge computing solutions, as well as new services covering healthcare, gaming and education.

As part of a separate partnership with Google, Jio also announced that it would launch its ‘ultra-affordable’ 4G smartphone in September this year. The price of the handset was not disclosed, but the device would come with an in-built voice assistant, automatic read-aloud of screen text, translation tools and a smart camera with augmented reality filters. Discussing the launch, Mr Ambani was quoted as saying: ‘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. Therefore, an ultra-affordable 4G smartphone is essential to make India “2G-mukt [2G-free]”’.

Regarding Jio’s fibre rollout, meanwhile, the company claims to have expanded its network to reach twelve million homes and businesses across the country. Despite a slowdown in deployment due to the pandemic, the operator claims to have rolled out infrastructure to pass two million additional premises over the last year.

India, Google (Alphabet), Google Cloud, Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio)