- As it turns six, Reliance Jio is yet again set to lead India’s next digital transition – from 4G to 5G. Reliance Jio’s launch of True 4G services on September 5, 2016, drove India’s digitalisation in a great way, improving ease of living for millions and creating hundreds of billions of dollars of wealth. The next transition to 5G, that Reliance Jio is ready to usher in, is certain to boost India’s global economic standing in a big way.
- In 2022, Reliance Jio will become India’s first and only telecom operator to launch True 5G – a standalone 5G with no fallback on 4G infrastructure – that gives the full benefits of hyper speed, low latency and high capacity. This is a repeat of history, as in 2016 Reliance Jio became India’s first and only telecom operator to launch pan-India True 4G – with no fallback on 2G or 3G infrastructure.
- Jio has committed Rs 2 lakh crore towards launch of pan-India 5G in phases within just 18 months. This underlines Jio’s absolute and firm commitment that India deserves only the best, with a ‘no short-cuts’ approach. Jio 5G will be the world’s not just the largest network, but it will be the most advanced 5G network globally.
- Jio will also ensure that access to 5G does not remain an exclusive service – available only to the privileged few, or only in the large cities. Jio’s ambitious 18-month deadline for 5G rollout across every nook and corner of India will be the fastest 5G rollout in the entire world. In fact, Jio 5G will connect even those parts of the country where satellite technology was the only option.
- Data Revolution brought by Jio triggered the digital revolution in the country, which led to fast adoption of Digital India initiatives of the Government.
Excerpt from the speech of Mr Mukesh Ambani on Monday, August 29, 2022, at the AGM of Reliance Industries Limited: “Inspired by the Digital India vision of our dynamic Prime Minister, Shri Narendrabhai Modiji, our country has seen the emergence and scale-up of multiple world-class national platforms which have brought enormous benefits and convenience to ordinary citizens.
For example, Aadhaar – a common national identity for 1.3 billion Indians; Jan Dhan – a self-service bank account that has brought Financial inclusion to over 460 million unbanked Indians, especially women; Rupay – an indigenous payment card network with over 630 million card holders; UPI – one of the most accessible digital payment systems with a monthly volume of over 6 billion transactions; and Ayushman Bharat – providing health coverage to over half a billion Indians.
Another example is our Prime Minister’s path breaking Start-Up India initiative under which India launched over 73,000 new start-ups in the last 6 years. They collectively attracted nearly $63 billion of investment and contributed to the creation of lakhs of new employment opportunities. And we have the example of how India has used digital connectivity and digital platforms to stay resilient even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With both humility and pride, I would like to state that all these phenomenal accomplishments became possible because Jio built a world-class 4G digital infrastructure at the right time, with sufficient capacity, and offered it at the most affordable price.”
How 5G is set to digitally revolutionize India:
- According to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report published in June 2022, special report ‘India’s 5G future: A closer look’:
- Mobile traffic in India has grown by around 15 times in the past 5 years and is expected to more than double in the next 3 years.
- 5G is projected to account for nearly 40 percent of mobile subscriptions in India – 500 million – by the end of 2027.
- By the end of 2027, smartphone users in India are forecast to consume 50GB of data per month on average.
- According to an Ericsson-Arthur D Little study, 5G will enable Indian mobile service providers to generate USD 17 billion in incremental revenue from enterprises by 2030.
- 5G can play an important role in achieving India’s digital inclusion goals, especially in bringing broadband to rural and remote homes. Trials have proven the potential offered by 5G to bridge the digital divide by enabling access to high-speed broadband through FWA
- Telecom subscribers in Indian region are expected to shift progressively from 2G/3G/4G to 5G in coming years
- Accordingly the data traffic on 5G is set to grow exponentially, while that on the 2G/3G/4G will likely stagnate.
Other important details about Reliance Jio
- Creating Wealth for India
Jio’s 4G launch has spurred India’s Unicorn ecosystem big way. From just two Unicorns – startups valued above $1 billion – in 2017, India had 37 Unicorns in 2020, which rose to 60 in August 2021 and touched 100 in May 2022 – that’s several hundred billion dollars of value created in just five years. This has come much ahead of market expectations. For example, Bank of America had predicted India to reach 100 Unicorns by 2025.
- Making India Self-Reliant or ‘Atma Nirbhar’
Reliance’s Digital Services business has catapulted India to among the leading data consuming countries in the world. Jio handles over 8 Exabyte of data every month, as of March 2022. Reliance Jio is playing the pioneering role in making India a Digital Society.
Reliance Jio democratized access to internet by making these services affordable and accessible to over half a billion people for the first time.
- Innovating for India
1 Reliance Jio is one of the very few companies globally to have designed and developed a complete 5G solution from scratch. This will enable India to enjoy world-class 5G services using 100% home grown technologies and solutions.
2 Reliance built the world’s most affordable 4G smartphone – JioPhone – adjudged as world’s best ‘Mobile Device Innovation’ at Global Telecom Awards in 2019
3 Reliance Jio also launched world’s most affordable full-touchschreen 4G smartphone – JioPhone Next – in 2021 in collaboration with Google Inc with a differentiated operating system called Pragati OS.
- Jio leads the march towards 5G-Yukt India:
Following key details were shared in the 2021-22 Annual Report of Reliance Industries Limited:
- Jio took major steps during 2021-22 in getting ready for 5G, with its 100% indigenous technology. Jio’s network is built on a converged and future proof architecture that allows for seamless upgrade from 4G to 5G and beyond.
- Jio has conducted field trials of its homegrown 5G stack with competitive position and capabilities comparable to global Tier 1 vendors.
- Jio’s 5G coverage planning has been completed in top 1,000 cities based on targeted customer consumption and revenue potential using heat maps, 3D maps and ray tracing technology.
- Jio’s 5G stack is 100% homegrown and a comprehensive 5G solution that is fully cloud native, software defined and digitally managed. This 5G stack encompasses radio and core network, software architecture and hardware equipment, including outdoor small cells and gNodeBs.
- Apart from conducting field trials of its 5G stack, Jio has done active trials of 5G use cases ranging from AR/ VR, low-latency cloud gaming, network slicing and multi-tenancy for video delivery, TV streaming, connected hospitals and industrial applications. (Check RIL AR 2021-22 page 84 for 5G use case studies)
- Jio entered into a strategic partnership with Google for its Cloud Solutions to power the 5G experience of Indian enterprises as well as consumers
- Jio also joined hands with University of Oulu in Finland – the leader of the world’s first major 6G research programme – to accelerate research and standardisation in 6G – the futuristic next generation of telecom technology after 5G.
Significance of India’s Digital Revolution
- India’s Digital Revolution that Jio is driving since its birth is crucial for India’s future economic growth. In India’s journey to become $5 trillion economy, Digital Economy will contribute $1 trillion by 2025-26.
- Jio 5G is set to provide an impetus to develop end-to-end digital value chains across traditional Indian industries. Rapid digitization in agriculture, education, energy, financial services, healthcare, logistics, and retail, as well as government services, could each create $10 billion to $150 billion of incremental economic value, and 20 million additional jobs by 2025-26 in India with rapidly improving productivity.
- This will help India participate more meaningfully in the global value chains in goods and services related to the Information & Communication Technology (ICT) industry and increase its share of ICT global trade.
- Digitalisation of processes will help boost productivity of Indian economy, which is the most crucial factor for a rapid economic growth. The economy’s overall productivity is dependent on efficiencies and innovations across all sectors, and the extent to which they are mutually reinforcing. Therefore, more efficient, faster, accurate processes across sectors thanks to digitalization will support productivity boost.