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Reliance AGM: Why Jio’s 5G announcement is significant – Economic Times

Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio, a disruptor in the truest sense, changed the telecom industry forever when it unleashed its 4G ambitions offering some services for free at its AGM in 2016. The oil-to-telecom company is expected to announce its plans for 5G at a time when the telecom industry has realised that high ARPU is essential for survival.

Ambani, 65, is expected to make a slew of announcements at the company’s virtual AGM including the conglomerate’s 5G rollout, how Ambani plans to unlock the value of his telecommunications and retail units through separate listings, and when and how his children will take over the reins.

India is now gearing up for the 5G rollout, which could begin come October. The Centre has issued spectrum allocation letters to telecom service providers while asking them to prepare for the rollout of 5G services in the country. With this spectrum allotment, India entered the final stage of rolling out high-speed 5G telecom services.

Reliance Jio Infocomm bought airwaves worth more than $11 billion at India’s spectrum auction as it sought to cement its edge over smaller rivals in the rollout of speedier 5G networks. That will be key to boosting revenue and luring high-value users.

Investors will be looking for proof of the pudding here. The technology is yet to return profits for Asian wireless operators despite many investing billions of dollars, even those in China which have been offering 5G service since 2019. Details like a nationwide rollout date, tariff plans for 5G services as well as where the demand lies for the service will be crucial for

Jio to reveal.

The Ambani children may demonstrate some of the key features of the 5G services at the meeting, just as they’ve showcased new telecommunications products in the past.

Reliance Jio: 5G Readiness Vs peers

At the 5G auction, Reliance Jio bought 24,740 megahertz of airwaves for Rs 880.78 billion while smaller rivals

and spent Rs 430.8 billion and Rs 188 billion respectively.

In a statement, the company said that it will “roll-out the world’s most advanced 5G network across India,” adding that its “unique 700 MHz spectrum footprint will make it the only operator providing true 5G services across India.” It has started field trials for 5G services and plans to launch nationwide operations very soon, parent

. said last month.
in its latest annual report said that says the telco’s 5G coverage plan for India’s top 1,000 cities is ready. on its part has said coverage plans for 5000 cities and towns are ready.

Analysts say Jio could challenge competition as an SA network would help it offer a differentiated 5G service if the ecosystem around the 700 MHz band develops rapidly as benefits of these airwaves include strong indoor penetration in dense urban geographies and good coverage in rural areas.

“If 5G adoption accelerates and the next spectrum auction is delayed, the 700 MHz band can provide Jio an edge in coverage and improve its market share,”


Adani Vs Ambani: Telecom?

There is a reason for apprehension for Ambani as fellow tycoon Gautam Adani confirmed its entry into the telecom space in July. However, it did confirm that it has no intention of entering the consumer mobile space currently dominated by Ambani, and will only use any airwaves purchased at the government auction to create “private network solutions,” and for enhancing cybersecurity at its airports and ports.

While Reliance Jio emerged as the top buyer in India’s airwaves auctions, Adani’s firm Adani Data Networks bought spectrum for just around $27 million, allaying fears at least for now of another disruption.