Reliance Industries announces 4G broadband launch
| 19 June 2014
Reliance Jio, the 4G mobile broadband network from Reliance Industries (RIL), will be launched across India in 2015, boosted with video content from the company's recently announced US$679 million takeover of Network18 Media.
At launch the broadband service will reportedly cover all states, accounting for 90% of urban India and 215,000 villages. Later it will expand to 600,000 villages.
"They would ensure that every Indian has access to the state-of-the-art digital connectivity and services that are on par with or better than anywhere else in the world," said Mukesh Ambani, chairman, told attendees at RIL's annual general meeting.
Reliance Jio will be "one of the largest job-creating and wealth-creating business initiatives in India," he added, stating the initiative is employing 10,000 full time staff, along with 30,000 affiliated professionals around the world.
Ambani said the 4G mobile broadband service will benefit from the video content provided by Network18, once the Indian broadcaster becomes part of the RIL family.
"The acquisition through an open offer of Network18 Media and Investments and its subsidiary TV18 Broadcast by Independent Media Trust, the sole beneficiary of which is Reliance Industries is one aspect of the digital services play."
Network18 is a significant presence in India's news and entertainment TV sector, and is also involved in movie production, print media, e-commerce and digital content.