Archive for April, 2015

Reliance Jio orders Backup Systems from Ballard Power Systems

April 30, 2015

For its much awaited 4G telecom service, the telecom venture of Reliance Industries, Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited will be buying 100 ElectraGen-ME fuel cell backup power systems from Ballard Power Systems. An order for the same has been given. The Mukesh Ambani-led company will be utilizing these power systems in its wireless network that is to be launched across the country.

Reliance Jio’s order to Ballard Power Systems

Reliance Jio has given the order after successfully conducting trials, for a year, of fuel cell systems from different vendors. It is the part of a series of planned deployments in Reliance Jio’s national network.Ballard Power Systems informed that the first 100 systems will be shipped this year.

Reliance Jio is the only company in the country to have pan-India broadband wireless access (BWA) license. This enables the company to launch its service in any part of the country. It is thus planning to establish a new 4G telecom network. For such an establishment, hundreds of new base station towers need to be acquired.

With the roll out of Reliance Jio’s telecom service, an environment of stiff competition will created. This will let to the fall inprices of telecom services.

Steve Karaffa, Chief Commercial Officer of Ballard said, “This is an important commercial milestone for our telecom backup power growth strategy in a major emerging market. Based on the performance and value demonstrated by our systems throughout the trial, we are now advancing to extensive commercial deployments with a major telecom service provider.”

Reliance Jio’s order to Saft

A few days back, Reliance Jio also ordered for Evolion lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery systems from Paris’s company, Saft. This order costs them 7 million euros. The systems will support the next phase of its 4G launch program.After successful orders of last 2 years for Evolion systems from Saft, the new order has been placed. The earlier order was worth 50 million euros.

The batteries from Saft are installed in more than 16,000 4G Base Transceiver Station (BTS) sites across the country. They give backed up power whenever there is a power failure. This ensures that Reliance Jio’s mobile network will always be available.

These batteries occupy half the space than the traditional batteries. Their weight is also 25% of the older ones. Moreover, the batteries operate at extreme temperatures ranging from -40 degree Celsius to 75 degree Celsius.

Need for backup systems

A report from Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG) said that around 30,000 telecom towers across the country deal with more than 8 hours of electrical grid failures daily. To overcome this, telecom companies use diesel generators or lead-acid batteries for backing up power. These consume over 475 million gallons (1.8 billion litres) of diesel fuel every year and aggravate the greenhouse gas consequences.

There is thus, a great need for cost-effective and reliable backup power system that support for long hours. Ballard feels that ElectraGen-ME fuel cell system will serve the purpose.

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Reliance Jio’s 4G, a Hit at Wankhede

April 23, 2015

Around 20,000 people had gathered to witness the first Indian Premiere League (IPL) match at Mumbai’s Wankhede stadium on the eve of 12th April, 2015. Apart from the thrilling match, the spectators enjoyed the fourth generation (4G) Wi-Fi service offered by Reliance Jio. The fans were upset as the host team, Mumbai Indians lost against Kings XI Punjab. However, the high speed internet connection and real-time sharing was much to their delight.

4G experience at Wankhede

The head of a partnership firm formed by Relativity Media and B4U, known as Relativity-B4U,found the 4G internet experience at the stadium to be mind-blowing.

Aditya Shastri, being a spectator, informed that the people were efficiently able to connect their phones with Wi-Fi and enjoy the high speed network. Thousands of people together connected to the network and it took few moments for them to share real-time images and videos on social networking sites. He further said that there was a huge difference in the existing internet speeds and what was offered at the stadium. The high speed clearly indicated the superior experience soon to be felt once the 4G serviceis launched.

Reliance Jio’s 4G pilot launch

The telecom arm of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries, Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, is promoting its upcoming 4G service by providing free 4G Wi-Fi network at all the seven league matches to be held at Wankhede stadium in this IPL season. Mumbai’s Wankhede stadium was selected as Reliance Industries’ IndiaWin Sports Pvt. Ltd. owns the Mumbai Indians team.

The pilot launch was conducted so that the company may get first-hand learning on how well the network could bear the high traffic and heavy data usage situations.Experts from the industry have suggested that the company will still refine its network and services for an efficient launch that is to be held this year. The roll-out will help the stakeholders to predict the future and benefit all, the owner company, the players and fans.

Registration process

An executive from Reliance informed about the procedure to avail of the 4G service at the stadium. He said it is just like any other Wi-Fi network. As a person enters the stadium, his mobile phone will show the availability of 4G Wi-Fi. The user needs to register himself on the network by entering hisname and phone number. Once this is done, a verification code is sent on that number. The user just needs to submit the code and then he will be able to enjoy the high speed network.

Reliance Jio is promoting its free service with radio spots explaining the registration process to the spectators. Besides, for future matches, the spectators may directly log on to http://www.wankhede.jio.com and register themselves. They may also enter the date on which they will be watching the match at Wankhede. A message confirming the registration is sent on the mobile number. It says, ‘You will receive ‘Verification Code’ before the match for easy access to Jionet in the stadium’. Accordingly, the code is sent to the number on the said date, before the match.

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Reliance Jio to equip 5 Cities with its Voice and Data Services by June

April 15, 2015

Mukesh Ambani led-Reliance JioInfocomm Limited will soon be rolling out its voice and 4G data services in five cities across India. The launch is expected to occur by June. In the second half of the year, the company may cover the entire country.

An executive from the company informed that the five cities to witness the launch are Mumbai, Nagpur, New Delhi, Lucknow and Ahmedabad. Few other cities that has around 90% of the infrastructure set may also be added.

Acquisitions of Reliance Jio

The company is gearing up for its 4G launch since 2010, after it acquired the broadband wireless access spectrum to roll out the services in any part of the country. In October, 2013, the company won pan-India Unified License that enables it to provide almost any telecommunication service.

In the 2,300 MHz broadband wireless access spectrum, Reliance Jio bagged pan-India 20 MHz in 22 regions and in 1,800 MHz band it got 5-7MHz in 14 areas.

Strategy of Reliance Jio

Reliance Jio is aligning activities like voice, entertainment, e-commerce, news, education and video all on a single platform of a mobile phone along with speedy internet.

One week ago, the organization introduced its service of Jio Chat, which is a messaging application like WhatsApp. This application is not related to its 4G service but indicates the company’s intention of becoming a single platform for the users.

A spokesperson of Reliance Jio said, “We have made significant progress in being ready to start service, including physical network infrastructure, systems and processes, sales and distribution network, applications and services, content, etc. We are working with strategic partners who have committed significant resources, know-how and global talent to support deployment and testing activities currently underway.”

Preparations of Reliance Jio

As per Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Reliance Jio will have to launch its services in 90% of the metros and 50% of rural areas within five years of obtaining the spectrum. The company is all set to meet its 2015 deadline. It will be launching the services across the country in phases. Around 900 towns are aimed by the company.

For wireless access, the company is not only using its own network but also of other companies. Around 3 lakhs towers of varied companies including Reliance Communications Limited and Bharti Airtel Limited is used by Reliance Jio.The company will also start training its employees for the services from April end. Employees will be provided 4G enabled phones like Samsung S6 and Samsung S6 Edge to let them have fist hand experience of the service.

Although the company will be launching the mobile services soon, its fiber-to-home services that provide 4G connectivity to personal computers, still seems to be a distant reality. The fiber-to-home service will take some time to roll out as the company is slowly moving with its infrastructure.

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1.4 Tcf to be yielded from RIL’s New Discovery

April 10, 2015

It is expected that the new gas discovery by Reliance Industries Limited,MJ-1 in KG-D6 block, may prove vital for its business. The discovery may have gas resources equaling to 1.4 Trillion Cubic Feet (Tcf). This is around half the quantity that may be acquired from the main gas fields of the block.

The minority partner of Reliance Industries, Canada’s Niko Resources informed that MJ-1 may hold contingent resource of 0.988 Tcf of gas of condensate (low estimate) and 2 Tcf (high estimate). The discovery is situated at a depth of 2,000 meters under the producing D1-D3 field in the eastern offshore KG-D6 block.

Statements of the report

Niko Resources took an evaluation report from Deloitte LLP, regarding the MJ Discovery in the D6 Block. The report stated that the discovery may hold 1.4 Tcf of gas and condensate.

The 6-year old, main Dhirubhai-1 and 3 gas fields holds 3.10 Tcf of downgraded reserves. The R-series have recoverable reserves of around 2 Tcf. If the report estimates turn to be correct then MJ-1 will rank third in terms of biggest gas fields in KG-D6 after D1&D3 and R-Series.

“Deloitte’s best case estimate of gross un-risked contingent resources of 1.4 trillion cubic feet of equivalent relates to the Central (North), Northern and Central (South) fault blocks that were drilled by the MJ-1, MJ-A1, and MJ-A3 wells, based on an estimated areal extent of approximately 24 sq. kms. approximately twice the areal extent of the analogous MA field that is currently producing,” the report said.

Niko Resources also informed that Contingent Resources are similar to the quantities of petroleum recoverable from known resources. It may be recovered from using expertized technology or technology that is still being developed. However, these are not regarded to be recoverable in commercial terms because of one or more possibilities.

Understanding the possibilities, the report stated that the cost that may incur to produce and operate are not fixed and hence the economic volumes have not been set up. To get the field on-stream, an approval from the Indian government will be required. Reliance Industries is presently working on appraisal and building development plans.

Reliance’s share in the resources

Reliance Industries operates the Krishna Godavari basin KG-D6 block and holds 60% interest. 10% interest is held by Niko Resources and the remaining 30% is acquired by United Kingdom’s BP plc. Reliance Industries has made 19 gas discoveries till date. D1&D3 were made to produce from April, 2009 and the production in MA oil and gas field began in September, 2008.

About Reliance Industries

Reliance Industries was founded by Late Dhirubhai Ambani. The company has now become the biggest private sector company in India. It is also named in the Fortune Global 500 list. After textiles, the company has carved its name in the sectors of polyester, plastics, fiber intermediates, petroleum refining, oil and gas, etc. It ranks first in the world in the production of polyester yarn and fiber and also features among the top 10 companies in the production of major petrochemical products.

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Mukesh Ambani’s GenNext to choose Overseas Start-ups

April 1, 2015

The Chairman of Reliance Industries Limited, Mukesh Ambani, is looking to assist and train start-ups that may boost its own business plans of phone services and e-commerce. For this, he is even ready to look at places like Israel and Silicon Valley in the US.

GenNext Ventures of Reliance Industries is in talks with overseas venture capital companies and private equity (PE) investors. The start-ups picked by Reliance Industries will be benefitted with the company’s widespread network. The foreign companies will have an access to the large market of India while Reliance Industries may get innovative ideas from varied countries.

First batch of GenNext Innovation Hub

GenNext Ventures along with Microsoft Ventures trained and mentored 11 upcoming companies in its program known as GenNext Innovation Hub. It did not invest in the start-ups of the first batch. In the joined initiative, GenNext has set up the infrastructure and called experts from Reliance Industries for the mentoring sessions and Microsoft has taken the charge of the functioning of the program.

Raghunath A. Mashelkar, GenNext’s Chairman, said, “We are following the seed-to-fruit approach.”

Some of the start-ups with innovative ideas that formed the first batch wereLogiNext Solutions that helps to keep a track in deliveries and transport activities and Coitor IT Tech that lets customers try clothes virtually through a computer screen. Some others are Health Vectors that gives a detailed analysis of the health of individuals;CarIQthat provides a connected car platform and AxleRate that takes care of passenger safety.

Second batch of GenNext Innovation Hub

Applications are already being invited for the second batch. The batch will begin from June. GenNext will also be investing in the companies, this time.

GenNext Ventures Managing Partner, VivekRai Gupta informed that the selection process for the second batch will be stricter than the previous one. The company is keen to pick up start-ups that are involved in the fields of information technology, broadband services, retail, energy management and security.

Investment opportunities

A Morgan Stanley report of 2nd February mentioned that private equity and venture capital funding in internet firms of India grew six times in 2014 than in 2013. $4.5 billion have been invested since January, last year. Out of the total, 70% was invested in the e-commerce field itself. The report also said that payments and logistic businesses will get additional funding, this year.

Till date, GenNext has invested in two organizations. One is Kolkata’s Videonetics Technology Pvt. and other is Mumbai’s Covacsis Technologies Pvt.It will further buy stakes of those start-ups whose business may align with Reliance Industries, informed Mashelkar.

In the past two years, investment in the e-commerce industry has been the largest. Some big names include Flipkart and Snapdeal. Gupta said, “There can be a 100 Snapdeals and Flipkarts in India as the digital ecosystem is blooming and GenNext wants to be right at the center of it.”

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