Mukesh Ambani is making his re-entry into the telecom industry with Reliance Infotel and 4G after handing over his previous brainchild Reliance Communications to younger brother Anil Ambani in a family dispute. This time around, Mukesh Ambani's Infotel is a 95% acquisition and at the moment it doesn't look like Infotel will go head-to-head with either Reliance Communications or the likes of Vodafone and Airtel. As of now, Infotel is working on rolling out 4G services across India. They are focusing on broadband connectivity and are the only company with a pan-India 4G license.
In their annual report (PDF link), the company elaborated on their plans. Reliance's pitch is the poor broadband penetration (their estimates are 13 Million connections) in India. Reliance believes broadband will impact every aspect of the community, business to business transactions, health, education, entertainment etc. In the report, Reliance highlights the growing number of LTE supported devices and the ability to tether high-speed connectivity on mobile devices. The company says they will offer local content to complement the devices and service.
The other interesting note in the report is Reliance's plan to leverage the pan-India Infotel infrastructure for homeland security in India. Post the horrific 26/11 terror attacks on Mumbai, the private sector and governments have been working on improving the country's intelligence and security. Quoting the relevant part from the annual report:
Reliance will also leverage its broadband network to support the requirements for homeland security applications and services, which can benefit from the advantages of low latency and assured quality of services that are integral to 4G networks. Insurgency and terrorism have become global challenges, and in light of the recent terrorist attacks on major cities, the citizens of India have a dire need for digital surveillance and security services. The traditional security platforms have been found inadequate to address the new challenges associated with global terrorism and there is a need to support the efforts of our law enforcement agencies with intelligent and realtime electronic and digital solutions. Reliance is working with global partners to bring state-of-the-art homeland security solutions to the Indian market.
The fact that Reliance thought about using their infrastructure for the country is admirable in itself. With the government working on improving the network infrastructure for the armed forces and private sector pitching in for internal security, India seems to be on the right path.