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Reliance Jio invests Rs 1.34 lakh crore in 4G network, readies 'transformative' services

Reliance Jio Infocomm said it is in a high state of readiness to start offering its 4G services, except for in four circles where it could take four to six more weeks to prepare the network. The announcement indicates that the Reliance Industries unit’s much-awaited commercial launch may be around the corner.

“We had thought that we would launch once our 850 MHz network was integrated, because we don’t want to be working on the network after the launch. But apart from that, our overall readiness is really high,” Anshuman Thakur, head of strategy and planning at Reliance Jio, told reporters on Friday. He was speaking at the first-quarter earnings briefing of Reliance Industries.

He said the company received the last of the required approvals from the telecom department on July 7 in the four circles of Rajasthan, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. “So it will take four-six weeks to deploy the network there. In all other circles our readiness is high,” he said, without specifying any launch date.

ET reported in its July 14 edition that the commercial launch of Jio’s 4G services could be around a month away. Described as the world’s biggest startup with an investment of around Rs 1.5 lakh crore, the launch has been six years in the making since Reliance Industries re-entered the telecom sector by buying a company which had won pan-India 4G airwaves in an auction in 2010.

“At Reliance Jio, we have built an entire ecosystem that will allow Indians to live the digital life to the fullest. This transformational ecosystem consists of broadband connectivity, devices and powerful applications and services which will be available to every consumer in India,” Chairman Mukesh Ambani said in Reliance Industries’ earnings statement.

Jio said it has invested some Rs 1.34 lakh crore of the Rs 1.5 lakh crore for setting up its network, on spectrum and other expenses. It will spend the rest to expand coverage to 90% of the population over two years from the date of the launch from the 70% it has already achieved.

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