Mukesh Ambani, chairman & managing director of Reliance Industries Limited announced at the company’s 41st Annual General Meeting on Friday that Reliance Jio Infocomm will commercially launch its high speed data services in December.
While the launch is due December, the company would start test runs in the next few months. Reliance Jio service will cover all 29 states of India, and reach 80% of the populace at the time of launch. It will cover 100% of the population in the next 3 years, Ambani said.
Reliance, which re-entered the telecoms business in 2010 by acquiring the only company that had won nationwide 4G airwaves in a government auction, has yet to start services as it builds the business under its unit Reliance Jio on an unproven and still-developing technology.
Back in May, Reliance Industries in its annual report said it is “working aggressively” to meet a rollout target set by the government. The firm said Reliance Jio would offer 4G voice calling using the VoLTE technology. It also plans to rollout high-speed Internet services using a fibre network, in addition to the 4G wireless network, it said.
The Reliance Industries CMD said the country would see a host of 4G-LTE handsets at sub-Rs 4000 price-points by the year-end to complement Jio’s December commercial launch. And to boost 4G device adoption levels, the company would launch a host of smartphone apps over the next few months. The company will also enter the fast-growing mobile payments market with Jio Money.
The core product of Jio Money is already operational. Users will also be able to use TV functionality on their smartphones by downloading the Jio Play app.
The fiscal year to March 2017 will be the first full year of its commercial operations, came a statement from Ambani.