According to Mukesh Ambani, chairman, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), Jio 5G is already present in over 96 per cent of the census towns of India. This makes Jio 5G the fastest-ever 5G rollout of this scale anywhere in the world. With over 50 million 5G customers, Jio is already leading in 5G adoption in India. It is the only company with the capacity to smoothly transition its entire 4G customer base to 5G, with minimal additional capital expenditure. Jio is on track to cover the entire country by December 2023. With the growing adoption of Jio 5G, the company is also seeing an increasing trend of high average revenue per user and postpaid customers choosing Jio as their preferred network. The telco’s net port-ins via mobile number portability was five times that of its nearest competitor.
Speaking at the company’s recent annual general meeting (AGM), Ambani said, “Today, nearly 85 per cent of the total 5G cells operational in India are in Jio’s network. At our current pace, we are adding one 5G cell to our network every 10 seconds, and we will have nearly one million 5G cells operational in our network by December 2023. Last year, I highlighted several advantages that differentiate Jio 5G from other Indian operators, including our comprehensive spectrum, our standalone 5G architecture and carrier aggregation. Recently, we used our own 5G stack to become the first operator in the world to launch commercial services on millimetre-wave spectrum, using standalone 5G. This high-capacity, low-latency layer will significantly enhance private 5G, home broadband, and enterprise use cases. We have also built our own low-power small cells to go deeper into specific pockets of high consumption, like tourist spots and temples, in a highly energy-efficient manner. These advantages, along with our massive scale of deployment, mean that the best 5G coverage, capacity, and experience is possible only with Jio 5G.”
As per Ambani, Jio’s 5G rollout is powered by its 100 per cent in-house developed 5G stack, which perfectly aligns with the country’s Atmanirbhar vision. It features advanced technologies such as standalone 5G architecture, carrier aggregation, and network slicing, with advanced artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML) capabilities that optimise its vast network for unparalleled quality, reliability and user experience. It is also designed to seamlessly integrate with the 4G and 5G equipment from other global vendors. Jio’s own portfolio of 5G radios ranges from small cells to large tower-based radios, addressing the entire spectrum of outdoor and indoor usage scenarios. Ambani added that the company’s focus on continuous innovation has positioned it to be among the first globally to develop 6G capabilities. In fact, it has become one of the largest filers of global patents from India for digital technologies, affirming its transformation from a telecom operator to a technology company. In the coming years, the telco envisions leveraging its made-in-India tech stack to drive value creation and revenue growth, both at home and abroad.
Speaking about JioFiber, Ambani said, “Our optical fibre-based home broadband service. In just a few years, despite COVID-19 disruptions, JioFiber has crossed 10 million subscribers, each of whom consumes, on an average, over 280 GB of data per month which is over 10 times higher than our per-capita mobile data consumption. Today, Jio’s optical fibre infrastructure spans over 1.5 million km across India. This immense scale puts us in a league of our own, far ahead of the competition. Our extensive optical fibre presence puts us in close proximity to over 200 million premises. Yet, providing physical last-mile connectivity is a painstaking process in most parts of our country. This leaves millions of potential customers without home broadband due to complexities and delays involved in extending optical fibre to their premises. This is where JioAirFiber, our fixed-wireless broadband offering, comes in.”
Ambani announced that Jio will commercially launch Jio AirFiber on September 19, 2023, to drive revenue growth in the untapped Indian home segment. With this fixed wireless access (FWA) service, the telco can expand the home broadband service with up to 150,000 connections per day which is a 10-fold increase, expanding the addressable market over the next three years to over 200 million high-paying homes and premises. JioAirFiber uses our pan-India 5G network and advanced wireless technologies to bypass the need for last-mile fibre.
During the AGM, the company announced the launch of Jio True5G Developer Platform, a comprehensive platform combining the operator’s 5G network, edge computing, and a spectrum of applications and services. It gives enterprises the control and options to activate network slices on demand, deploy applications on Jio’s multi-access edge-compute locations, and access a diverse ecosystem of partner applications – all within a single platform. Jio True5G Developer Platform enables secure, quick deployment of 5G edge compute and low-latency applications, enabling faster autonomous decisions, immersive experiences, and real-time edge AI. As per the company, enterprises can instantly unlock advanced network slicing capabilities, allowing them to independently establish and optimise network slices with regularity, thus enhancing their network resource management. This accelerates innovation, improves time-to-market, and reduces cost. Plus, the platform offers access to partner solutions, empowering enterprises to effectively deliver 5G use cases. And through the Jio True5G marketplace, the telco’s partners can integrate their offerings and develop tailored solutions that cater to specific needs.
Additionally, the company announced the launch of Jio True5G Lab, a facility designed to accelerate industry transformation using Jio True5G. In this facility, the telco’s technology partners and enterprise customers can develop, test, and co-create multiple industry-specific solutions. The inaugural Jio True5G Lab will be located at the Reliance Corporate Park, acting as the nerve centre for shaping India’s 5G future.
Ambani concluded, “I see four exciting frontiers for Jio’s growth – The consumer segment, powered by Jio 5G and Jio Bharat; The home segment, turbo charged by Jio AirFiber; The business segment, with its large untapped potential; and Jio Platforms’ opportunity for global expansion. Collectively, these frontiers provide Jio an opportunity for multi-fold revenue and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) growth in the coming years. But there is also a fifth frontier of growth for Jio. A global AI revolution is reshaping the world around us, and sooner than we think, intelligent applications will redefine and revolutionise industries, economies, and even our daily life. To stay globally competitive, India must harness AI for innovation, growth, and national prosperity. Within the RIL Group, we are rapidly augmenting our talent pool and capabilities to swiftly assimilate the latest global innovations in AI, especially the recent advances in generative AI. Looking ahead, Jio Platforms wants to lead the effort in developing India-specific AI models and AI-powered solutions across domains, thereby delivering the benefit of AI to Indian citizens, businesses and government alike. Seven years ago, Jio promised broadband connectivity to everyone, everywhere. We have delivered. Today Jio promises AI to everyone, everywhere. Also, over the next five years, we plan to shift most of our energy footprint in connectivity and digital services to green energy, which is not just eco-friendly but also lower cost.”