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Reliance-Google tie-up: From 4G and 5G smartphones to other innovations -- experts discuss

Updated : July 15, 2020 10:12 PM IST

With one eye on consolidating Jio's presence in the digital and consumer tech space and another on spearheading India's foray into the 5G era, Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani laid down the roadmap for India's largest conglomerate at its 43rd annual general meeting (AGM) on July 15.

The AGM was held completely online for the first time in the company's history and served as a launchpad for the company's aspirations to establish Jio as a digital and telecom behemoth. One of the key highlights of the AGM was Google investing Rs 33,737 crore for a 7.7 percent stake in Jio Platforms.

The investment by Google is the 14th in 12 weeks and takes Jio's total fund raise to over Rs 1.52 lakh crore. With this investment, Reliance is the only company in the world to boast of Facebook and Google as strategic investors.

The Jio-Google partnership could shake up the mobile phone market with the Reliance chairman announcing that the two companies would join hands to develop an android-based operating system (OS), which will be used to power Jio's entry level 4G and 5G smartphones at a fraction of a cost.

Ambani also sounded the bugle on his 5G vision. He said that Jio is ready with a world class 5G solution which can be deployed and launched within a year, once spectrum is available. Ambani added that Jio Platforms would be well-positioned to export 5G solutions post the India rollout. This could potentially stir things up in the global 5G race, as China faces the heat, with both the US and UK deciding to snap ties with the likes of Huawei.

Telecom aside, Ambani also laid down the blueprint for Reliance Retail's expansion. He said that the company will induct global partners and investors into Reliance Retail in the next few quarters. He added that Jiomart's rollout has also been accelerated.

He highlighted the proposed deal with Saudi Aramco and said that it had not progressed as per the original timeline due to unforeseen circumstances, but stressed that RIL was committed to a long term partnership with Saudi Aramco.

To discuss this and more about the announcements made at the AGM, CNBC-TV18's Shereen Bhan spoke to Professor V Kamakoti, a Member of the National Security Advisory Board; R Chandrashekhar, Former Telecom Secretary and Former Nasscom President; Sandeep Naik, the Managing Director and India and South East Asia Head of General Atlantic -- one of the 14 investors in the Jio Platform; Sanjay Kapoor, Telecom Consultant; and Pankaj Mohindroo, Chairman of India Cellular and Electronics Association.

Watch the video for more.
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