Speaking on the company’s 41st Annual General Meeting, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani revealed that the company’s telecom operations will commence in December.
While the commercial launch of Reliance Jio Infocomm has been slated for December, the company will enter beta testing phase in “the next few months.”
Ambani said that the company sees 4G-enabled smartphones priced under Rs 4,000 by year-end.
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.
Ambani added that the company is committed to net neutrality, a hot topic in India, and has the largest swathe of liberalized spectrum among all telecom operators. Talking to the shareholders, Ambani said Reliance Jio will launch a set of digital apps in the next few weeks. Among these apps will be Jio Chat, which already has 1 million active users, he said.
The company will also enter the fast-growing mobile payments market with Jio Money. The core product of Jio Money is already operational.
Ambani also said at the shareholder meeting that the key components of the Reliance Jio Infocomm broadband service are in place and operational.
Reliance Industries in the next 12-18 months will spend a total of Rs 2 lakh crores in new capacities; the benefits of these investments will be seen starting FY17.
The much-delayed commencement of Reliance Jio operations will make matters worse for telecom players like Airtel, Vodafone and Idea, which are grappling with high spectrum costs and capital expenditure.