Archive for June, 2015

Reliance Jio selected for Bhubaneshwar’s Wi-Fi PoC Project

June 30, 2015

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm features in the list of companies picked for Bhubaneshwar City Wi-Fi Proof of Concept (PoC) project. Other companies that will be providing Wi-Fi services at public places are Bharti Infratel, Vodafone, Airtel, Orange Softech, and Ortel.

Bhubaneshwar PoC

The PoC will lay an emphasis on varied parameters. Some of these are reliability, compatibility, technology, user-friendliness, robustness, cost effectiveness, security compliance, timeliness, response from the customer, optimization of the infrastructure, legal interception and aligning with Bhubaneswar’s expectations. The PoC period will be of four weeks.

The telecom companies will design, create, construct, provide and manage Wi-Fi services. Each company will operate at one of the given locations. The chosen locations are Utkal university campus and Sahid Nagar; Bhubaneswar Railway Station, Master Canteen and Ashok Nagar; Market building, Secretariat and IG Park; Khandagiri, Jagamara and ITER; BijuPatnaik College Road, Pal Heights and May Fair; Nandan Kannan and Botanical Garden; Surya Nagar, Governor house and OUAT; Forest Park Area, Biju Pattnaik Park and Airport; Lingraj Temple area; KIIT University, Infocity and Damana.

The companies will themselves invest to provide high-speed wireless data connection with a speed of at least 512 Kbps. After the consumers will take an experience and give feedback, the response will be used to come up with Request for Proposal (RFP) for Bhubaneswar City Wi-Fi.

Director of Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), Bhubaneswar, Manas Ranjan Panda, informed that the telecom companies have been given different zones of Bhubaneswar Municipal Area. They will run Wi-Fi PoC in their zones. From 15th July, the PoC will begin and people will enjoy the services for a month. He further informed that the Bhubaneswar Wi-Fi project will be built as a sustainable business model.

The Odisha government has selected STPI for Bhubaneswar City Wi-Fi project. The company is the nodal agency for City Wi-Fi project.

Reliance Jio’s telecom venture

Reliance Jio will roll-out its high-speed data services by December 2015. It has been over five years that the company re-ventured into the telecom industry.The company has already rolled out its instant messaging app, Jio Chat. It will soon launch applications in the education and healthcare sectors, too. Besides, it has also got a provisional license for channel broadcasting service.

Reliance Jio has marked its presence in all the states of the country, covering 18,000 cities and towns. It is planning to cover around 80% of Indian population by December 2015. Experts predict that Reliance Jio’s launch will affect the entire telecom industry in India.

Statements from Mr. Ambani

Mr. Ambani informed at the 41st Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Reliance Industries that its telecom arm will provide data and voice services. It will charge less than 50% of the current rates. The company will provide varied services like instant messaging, digital payment platform, live TV, news, movies on demand, streaming music, etc.

He expressed, “I am confident that Jio will play a significant role in lifting India from its current 142nd rank on internet penetration to among the top 10 nations in the world.” He further expressed that Jio’s ventures will push Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s ‘Digital India’ initiative.

Summary

Reliance Jio is one of the six companies that will offer services under Bhubaneshwar’s Wi-Fi PoC Project.

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Reliance Jio Media soon to become TV Channel Distributor

June 22, 2015

The subsidiary of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm, Reliance Jio Media Pvt. Ltd. acquired a pan-India provisional permit to operate as a multi-system operator (MSO). The company has moved a step further to establish itself as a nationwide distributor of television channels.

The spokesperson of Reliance Jio Media informed last week that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has provisionally registered Reliance Jio Media Pvt. Ltd. as a pan-India MSO and the letter regarding the same has also been issued. The license is yet to receive a final call from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Plans of Reliance Jio Media

The company applied for the pan-India MSO license in January, this year. It wants to make use of its fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) connectivity and give a number of services to its prospective customers. The services may range from television channels, telecom services, wireless access and fast internet connectivity.

As an MSO, Reliance Jio Media will act as a cable operator. It will receive programming services from a broadcaster. It will then give them out for simultaneous reception directly to multiple subscribers or by the medium of one or more local cable operators.

In the recent annual shareholders’ meeting of Reliance Industries, the Chairman informed that Reliance Jio is striving to develop all of its television channels under Network 18 and thus obtain a leading position in the market.

There are 17 news and 14 entertainment channels operating under Network 18. These channels are available in eight different languages. Network 18 also has significant internet ventures. These internet businesses will help in the evolution of Reliance Jio platform. Ambani in the recent annual general meeting said, “We are working to transform all of these to build and sustain leadership in each of these areas. By 2017-18, it will be the most integrated TV or mobile content in India.”

Reliance Jio Media has not yet announced when it will begin its distribution network. It has already recruited prominent industry experts to boost its activities.

In February, this year, the company appointed former Head of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd., K. Jayaraman as its Chief Executive Officer and former Head of DEN, S.N. Sharma as a member of itstop leadership team.One of the directors of Reliance Industries, Adil Zainulbhai will be guiding the business on integrating television and mobile.

Indian television market

India consists of around 170 million television sets. 20 million of these are terrestrial (Doordarshan), 40-45 million have a direct-to-home (DTH) connection, and around 100 million are operated by cable television services. Out of these 100 million, 30-35 million are digitized.

Some major MSOs present in India include Hathway Cable and Datacom Ltd. DEN Satellite Network Pvt. Ltd., Digi Cable Network India Pvt. Ltd., etc. Reliance Jio’s deep pockets will benefit it to give a tough competition to the existing companies. Ambani further said, while working on the 170 million TV sets of the country, they will multiply it by four and look at that numberof devices to offer services to. Thus, a market of 500 million devices cannot be captured by a single company.

Summary

<>Reliance Jio has obtained a pan-India provisional license enabling the company to become a multi-system operator (MSO).

Highlights of Reliance Industries’ 41st Annual General Meeting

June 12, 2015

Reliance Industries held its 41st Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Friday, June 12, 2015 in Mumbai. The Chairman, Mr. Mukesh Ambani, addressed the meeting, attended by the company’s shareholders. Following the trend of the past 10 years, the shares of the company saw a hike of 1.2% to reach a price of Rs. 885.95 on Thursday. The pre-AGM period has proven to be highly profitable for the company’s stock in the past few years.

Mr. Ambani began his address by drawing an outline of the company’s strategic perspective. He further presented a review of Reliance Industries’ performance in the financial and business spheres. The various projects and ventures of RIL including petrochemicals, petroleum refineries, natural oil-and-gas and retail were also discussed. As expected by trade analysts and shareholders, crucial announcements regarding Reliance Jio’s 4G launch were made.

Speaking of Reliance Jio, Mr. Ambani described the digital venture as
“one of the largest transformational green-field digital initiatives in the world”. Lauding the team for its achievements in the past two years he went on to give an account of the current status of the project. Currently, Reliance Jio has established its presence in all 29 states, reaching out to 1,800 cities across India.It is now in the testing phase before the launch. Some of these, as discussed at the AGM, are as follows:

  • Reliance Jio aims 85% coverage of India’s population by the end of 2015 and will look at extending it to 100% in the next three years. It is currently the largest holder of liberalized spectrum in India.
  • Jio aims to provide cost-effective 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) handsets, priced under Rs. 4,000 by the end of this year. With the low price, the 4G LTE trends in India are expected to match those in China.
  • The commercial operations for 4G will begin in December, with the beta launch set for the next few months. It is expected to be fully operational by FY2017.
  • The Jio team is also working on developing several digital apps, which will be launched in the next few weeks. The core product of Jio Money, to be used for digital payments, is operational.
  • The services under Reliance Jio are to be offered under lucrative prices between Rs. 300 and Rs. 500, making them widely accessible.

Commenting on Jio’s progress, Mr. Ambani stated that it has the potential to emerge as a Tier1 company at the global level, bringing value to the shareholders. He expressed his faith in Jio’s ability to bring India among the top 10 ranks for Internet penetration. He also expressed Reliance’s commitment towards net neutrality in India.

The AGM also addressed several other important developments for Reliance Industries. Mr. Ambani announced Reliance’s entry into the digital cable industry. With an addition of 930 new stores in the last year, RIL expects to further increase retail presence in the coming year. Reliance has emerged as India’s largest exporter with a share of 12% in merchandise exports. It aims to re-commission all of its fuel retail outlets this year. It was also announced that Reliance has successfully raised its international credit ratings. Mr. Ambani concluded the address with an assurance of working with enthusiasm towards the company’s goals.

Summary

The Annual General Meeting of Reliance took place today with Chairman Mukesh Ambani summarizing key achievements and areas of growth.

No Noodle Products to be Seen at Reliance Retail

June 8, 2015

Friday saw one of the of the largest retailers in the country, Reliance Retail Limited, announce a temporary withdrawal of all instant noodle products from its shelves, all over the country. This action comes following the allegations against the Nestle product Maggi, over excessive quantity of lead and the presence of monosodium glutamate (MSG), which has now brought several other noodle brands under the scanner as well.

Seven other brands of noodles along with Maggi have fall under the radar of the Karnataka government, as it awaits more information on Nestle’s product from the Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) laboratory in Kolkata. Samples from brands such as Knorr, Yipee (ITC), 1to3 from Surya, Nissin Cup Noodles, Doodles and Ching’s Secret are to be collected by the health department from Monday onwards to be sent for assessment of safety standards to private laboratories. These brands will be put through the same tests that Maggi was subjected to.

According to health department officers, the temporary ban on Maggi noodles is binding on all states as the directive of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), a statutory body. The joint director for health (Food Safety), Shivakumar spoke of surprise checks that are being conducted across stores. It has been seen that prominent departmental stores, in compliance with the FSSAI orders, have taken Maggi noodles off their shelves. He also added that production of Maggie at the Nanjangud factory has been put to a halt as well.

Reliance Retail, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), has, under such conditions, contributed to ensuring assurance among customers by returning all noodle product packets to distribution centers with the label “Not For Sale”. This action has been made known to Designated Food Safety Officers.The company is said to run about 2621 stores in the country across 200 towns. The recall thus comes as a significant act in the retail market, with around 11 brands of instant noodles being subjected to this. The company stated its intention to entirely follow through with its three basic commitments to the public, which include the health and well-being of its customers, its unflinching commitment to have only products of the highest assurance, and to remain in complete and utter compliance of legal and regulatory processes across the country irrespective of individual jurisdictions.

Damodar Mall, CEO, Value Formats & Consumer Business, Reliance Retail, has allowed room for doubt in the whole controversy surrounding Nestle Maggi products, but nevertheless, has made clear the need for reassurance that is in clear demand from the public as well as valued stakeholders.

The Commissioner of Food Safety in Tamil Nadu is to be presented with a memorandum on the action taken. A request to share all significant findings from laboratories is to be made to other relevant authorities as well.

Summary

Reliance Retail has temporarily pulled out all noodle products from its stores across the country.