Mumbai–Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani said on Sunday that Reliance Jio will be ready to commercially launch its 4G telecom services in the second half of 2016, thereby offering high-speed mobile internet and voice services to 80 percent of Indians.
“We’ll be ready to launch in the second half of 2016 — 80 percent of India’s population will have high-speed, mobile broadband internet,” Ambani said in an interview to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria.
“Eighty percent of the 1.3 billion Indians will have high-speed mobile internet (this year). By 2017, we will cover 90 percent. And by 2018, all of India will be covered by this digital infrastructure,” he said.
Reliance Jio’s 4G services are currently available to roughly 120,000 employees, their families and business partners.
The company has invested nearly $15 billion in the telecom venture.
On the company’s investment in acquiring airwaves and laying the physical infrastructure for offering high-speed internet services, Ambani said he believed that the world is at the beginning of the information and digital age.
“I believe humanity is at the doorstep of massive change and we’re just at the beginning of the information and digital age. In the next 20 years, in a networked society, we are going to have change much more than we have seen in the last 100 years,” he said.
Ambani also said digitisation will be at the forefront of the digital revolution and India cannot be left behind.
“It’s really digitisation and the digital world that is going to lead this. From an India point of view, India cannot be left behind in this revolution. As we saw in the year 2012-13, India is 150th in the world in mobile broadband penetration as well as quality.”
“Jio is really concieved to change this position,” Ambani said.
“For me personally, we made this investment just to make sure that the youth of India, which is still the bulk of India — India, as you know, is a very young country — is empowered. They should have an equal opportunity to not only prosper themselves, but to contribute to this new world,” he added.