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APOS 2016: Reliance Industries' Adil Zainulbhai & the Jio launch

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BALI: For all those who have been speculating about the commercial launch dates of Reliance Industries Jio services – whether wireless broadband and 4G or wired broadband - in India, here’s  the final word from the Network 18 Media & Investments chairman and Reliance Industries independent director Adil Zainulbhai.

Speaking at APOS2016 in Bali, Zainulbhai admitted even he does not know it. “There is probably one person who knows when the launch date is: that is the chairman. And the chairman of the board will decide one day when it will launch and I don’t think even he knows today what that date is. He will let us know when that is to happen.”

Zainulbhai stated that Jio was very close to being ready in terms of infrastructure for broadband wireless. He pointed out that the company was currently looking at what all was required from the marketing and processes perspectives.

He revealed that close to 250,000 km fibre has been laid for wired broadband. These services will follow only after the launch of wireless broadband.

“In the next 18-24 months, a large proportion of the high net worth homes in India will have the potential to have a fibre connection. And then they will have to choose when they want it or not,” he expounded. “Today an average data user on wireless broadband uses 0.18 GB a month. We have 500,000 users on our network testing it –they are using on an average 20GB. This is going to be a disruption. We don’t know how things will roll out when you give people an opportunity to consume as much as they want for a very reasonable price.”

Zainulbhai stated the Reliance group has never looked at any project business case wise. “The thought has always been how can we disrupt the existing scenario, improve lives of people and  in the process make money,” he disclosed.  “Right from the founder Dhirubhai Ambani’s time. And this has worked well for it with every project paying off.”

He directed the attendees attention to benefits like health and education which will be the other services the group will provide under Jio. “There’s a shortage of doctors and teachers in India. We want to help plug that gap through our broadband digital infrastructure. Entertainment services will pay for the laying of the fibre. The biggest change will happen in other fields.”

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