Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio eyes Online Retail & 4G Services

Mukesh Ambani has been on somewhat of a spree acquiring new business and expanding the operations of current ones. Reliance Jio (RJIL) is touted to be the next big thing in the Indian telecommunications landscape and its parent company Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) is wasting no time in expanding its operations while gearing up for a highly anticipated launch in the first half of 2015. RIL hit headlines when it announced the acquisition of media behemoth Network 18. As such this marquee acquisition looks like the beginning of a highly ambitious phase for the company.

The past six months or so have seen RJIL enter into new agreements with mobile handset manufacturers and Videocon for telecom towers.The abrupt acquisition of the Independent Media Trust (“IMT”) of which RIL is the sole beneficiary, has completed the acquisition of control of Network 18 Media and Investments Limited (“NW18”) including its subsidiary TV18 Broadcast Limited (“TV18”).Apart from nominees of IMT, Deepak S Parekh and AdilZainulbhai have been inducted, as Independent Directors on the board of NW18 and RaghavBahl will continue to be on the Board of NW18 as a Non-executive Director.

On the other hand, the highly awaited fourth-generation services are expected to see the light of day in the next year. Mukesh Ambani, in the annual general meeting told investors that 2014 was going to be a year of testing and finalizing the rollout plan. 4G is the next big thing with network speeds faster than the existing 3G network by about 12 times. With over Rupees 70,000 invested in this domain, all eyes are on RJIL for a blockbuster launch next year.

The launch is expected to take place in two stages – In the first stage, the services will be introduced in 5000 towns and cities. In the second stage, the network will be expanded in six lakh villages. With intelligent marketing like reaching out to the student community at IIT-Bombay, analysts expect Reliance Jio to hit the ground running from day one.

Apart from these services, the company has also made the news for the many deals it has signed with its peers. The most notable such deal signed by RJIL has been with Sunil Mittal’s Bharti Airtel. Now, Reliance Jio has signed an agreement to share 500 towers of Videocon Telecom in Uttar Pradesh East, Uttar Pradesh West, Bihar and Jharkhand. Along with this, the fact that innovative products like live streaming television on its handsets mean that RJIL is well on its way to carving out a niche for themselves in the highly lucrative and promising Indian telecom sector.

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