Archive for May, 2013

RIL’s 4G services to Start in Metros by March next year

May 24, 2013

The telecom arm of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL) is set to commence its services in cities like, Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Jamnagar by the end of this financial year. The launch of 4G services in these cities will be at an affordable price so that consumers can afford it.

Tarun Jhunjhunwala, business head and state mentor (East), Reliance Jio said that, “Kolkata will be among the first few cities where we launch 4G services. The roll-out will happen in Delhi, Mumbai and Jamnagar simultaneously.” The senior executive also said that they want to change the game. As experts predicted, the launch of high speed and voice data services over fourth generation telecom networks by Reliance will change the current telecommunication scenario in the country.

Furthermore to cover the eastern and north-eastern areas of the country by the reach of these 4G services, RJIL is planning to invest about Rs, 7,000 crore in the coming three years. “We plan to invest Rs.3,000 crore in West Bengal. We will also invest Rs.3,000-4,000 crore to launch 4G services in other eastern and north-eastern states” Jhunjhunwala said. The company will soon launch the services across India.

To build the basic infrastructure for the telecom services, the company has planned to lay optical fibre cables across 5,500 km and use around 3,500 towers to support the network. “The work has already started. We have laid cable across 300 km. We also expect to create 5,000 jobs in the state.”Jhunjhunwala said.

Apart from the telecom services, the company has also planned to come up with 4G supportive devices like smartphones, smart televisions, internet dongles and tablets. It is also in take with device manufacturer companies like Samsung to design devices that are medium priced but offer 4G services. At present the company is focused on zeroing down on key agreements with its technology partners and device manufacturers. It is also in talks with its service providers, infrastructure providers, application partners, and other strategic partners for the project. In the annual report published by the company for the FY13, Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of RIL, said that the project has acquired the basic infrastructural requirement for its launch across India. “India has a unique opportunity to surpass the world in delivery of digital content” he said. RJIL, according to him, will offer fast Internet connectivity on a pan-India basis. It will offer end-to-end solutions that address the entire value chain across various digital platforms like education, healthcare, security, financial services, government citizen interfaces and government. It will also give broadband access to Indian consumers and change dynamics of Internet-usage in the country.

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RIL’s Digital Arm To be Expanded in Tier-1 and Tier-2 Cities

May 13, 2013

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL)’s retail business arm, Reliance Retail will execute further expansion of its digital format stores in Tier -1 and Tier- 2 cities across the country. Mukesh Ambani led RIL is considering the digital sector as one of its prime contributing factors for the growth verticals of its retails business. Reliance Retail had crossed Rs 10, 000 crore turnover milestone in 2012-2013 fiscal as per the annual report of the company.

Furthermore, Reliance Digital will add more stores to its name and also come up with a new chain of stores under the brand name of Reliance Digital Express. Currently, Reliance Digital operates a total of 139 stores, out of which 46 were added in the last fiscal year. Essaying the overall performance and future of Reliance Retail, Mukesh Ambani said, “We are delighted to see our retail business achieving a milestone of annual revenue crossing Rs 10, 000 crore in FY 2012-2013. Our revenues have grown by 42 percent on a year on year basis.”

Another important thing for this retail arm is that it has turned EBITDA positive last year. In the last fiscal, the company has opened 184 new stores in the country, the total number which now reaches to 1466 stores.

RIL is keen to capture the market of consumer durables, IT and telecom (CDIT) segment ,the estimation of which is forecasted to reach Rs 2,15, 000 crore by 2016. The company is also looking forward to strengthen its client service arm ResQ along with its expansion of stores.

“Digital sector would be one of the growth verticals for the coming year. Reliance Digital Stores and Digital Express stores would be rolled out in Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities and would bring a world class shopping experience for consumers.” RIL stated in its Annual Report for 2012-2013. It also mentioned that the penetration of CDIT products in the Indian markets is comparatively slow as compared to other developing markets. But the belief prevails that as the disposable income increases, more people would adopt technology products. New technology innovations and trends will drive the replacement and overall market behavior.

The company will also focus on multi-product, multi- brand servicing at multiple locations. For this, it will strengthen ResQ, the service arm of the digital format. ResQ brings in strong service orientation towards meeting the requirements of the customers during the entire product life-cycle. Reliance Retails is currently growing at a rate of 10 percent each year.

Mukesh Ambani is keen to make Reliance Retail one of the leading retail chains of the country as well as is investing huge amounts to bring a world-class shopping experience for Indian consumers by bringing international and multiple brands under one roof.

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Reliance Jio Infocomm, Vodafone and five others bunch up to build undersea cable system

May 2, 2013

Vodafone Group Plc and Reliance Jio Infocomm have formed a consortium along with a group of telecom carriers to set up an undersea cable system to connect Southeast Asia with the Middle East, across the Indian Ocean.

This 8,000-km-long Bay of Bengal Gateway (BBG) undersea cable system will also have connections that would reach out to India and Sri Lanka. Other telecom carriers who joined forces include Dialog Axiata from Sri Lanka, Omantel, Etisalat from the UAE and Telekom Malaysia Bhd. The parties signed the agreement and the supply contract on April 30th in Kuala Lumpur.

This cable system when built would offer upgradeable and transmission facilities with 100 Gbps capability. The cost of the cable system, however, has not been disclosed yet. It is likely to carry commercial traffic by the end of 2014.

Some analysts predict that the upcoming BBG undersea cable system will play a crucial role in breaking the monopoly of the existing operators in the region. In addition to that, it will also minimize the cost of infrastructure for the consortium partners.

This new tie-up is critical for Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries and it gears up for the launch for 4G services in India. Reliance is presently the only company to have permits for 4G services in India. It is expected to launch the 4G high-speed wireless data services later this year and is also seeking international bandwidth.

This shows how telecom companies in India are putting forth their money to set up wireless data networks in a market where only a tenth of the population uses the internet. Although use of data services is growing at a faster rate in India, 80 percent of the revenue earned by telecom carriers is still earned from voice calls.In fact, major Indian telecom operatorscollectively spent $20 billion to acquire 3G and 4G airwaves in an auction that took place in the year 2010.

BBG is a major step towards business growth since it will provide with a backing for present and potential high-end requirements of next generation Internet applications and requirements of surrounding regions.

Apart from providing connectivity between Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Middle East, the BBG undersea cable system will also provide connectivity to Europe, Africa and Far East Asia.This will be carried out through inter-connections with other existing cable systems in India, the Middle East and Far East Asia.