Published: Tue, August 13, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Reliance-Microsoft cloud tie-up poses threat to Amazon, Google in India

Reliance-Microsoft cloud tie-up poses threat to Amazon, Google in India

"On fixed-line worldwide voice calling, we are today ending the era of high global calling rates on landline by announcing the lowest fixed line rates for global calling...", he said.

As part of this new agreement, Jio will move its internal workforce to productivity and collaboration tools available with Microsoft 365 and will migrate its non-network applications to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. "Now, we have transformed our long-standing relationship of two decades into a partnership [that has] growth potential, for many more years". Jio GigaFiber will start with 100 MBPS monthly plans. The network will launch fibre services on its birthday - with plans being priced between Rs 700 to Rs 10,000 per month.

The group's billionaire chairman, Mukesh Ambani, also unveiled plans to launch cut-price home internet services across the country next month, threatening to disrupt the telecommunications market with offers of free voice calls for life, television and movie streaming, and even TV sets to go with some subscription plans. With Jio's "First Day First Show" feature, Jio Premium members can watch movies on their Jio Fiber connections on the same day that those films hit the theaters. He also added that the company has already invested in 14 startups that complement Jio's services. According to Ambani, this is the biggest foreign investment in the history of Reliance and is among the largest foreign investments in India.

Bloodbath averted in Norway mosque by 65-year-old worshiper
Head of Norway's security police (PST) Hans Sverre Sjovold speaks at a news conference in Oslo , Norway, on August 12, 2019. One suspect is in custody after the shooting Saturday at the Al-Noor Islamic Center in the Oslo suburb of Baerum.

According to the company's latest shareholder communication, Reliance Retail and Jio are said to have collectively contributed almost 32% to the consolidated EBITDA of the Indian conglomerate, which is up from the 2% figure, five years ago. Jio has not specified which OTT plans it will offer as yet. It is simply a postpaid plan which every service provider offers with tariff plans. They also haven't revealed the data threshold that will come with each plan. For instance, the Jio set-top boxes would be the first in the country to make conference video calls possible. "So, Jio Fiber customers who opt for our annual plans which we call Jio Forever plans, will get an HD or 4K LED TV and a 4K set top box absolutely free", he said. Ambani said that India was "data dark" before the entry of Jio, and its launch has made India "data-shining bright". In fact, half a billion customers is well within Jio's reach, Ambani added.

He also pointed out that the investment cycle for Jio is now complete and going forward, the company only needs marginal investments in terms of access in order to grow its capacity in order to meet demand. Thanks to Jio's initial generosity and the subsequent pricing wars that it sparked, 4G LTE data ended up becoming very cheap and widely available, fundamentally altering the way Indians consumed data. Jio aims to connect at least 1 billion devices on Jio's IoT platform. "This translates into a Rs 20,000 crore per year revenue opportunity for Jio", he said.

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