Reliance Jio adds 29 million customers in three months

Claiming it will cover 99 percent of the population across India by the end of 2018, Reliance Jio has added another 28.7 million mobile network customers in the June quarter.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Indian telecommunications carrier Reliance Jio has announced adding 28.7 million net customers during the quarter to June 30, after adding 26.5 million in the prior quarter.

Jio's customers are now using 10.6GB of data on average each month, with the carrier saying it has the "world's largest mobile data consumption network", as well as the world's largest voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) network.

The 4G LTE network provided average download speeds of 18.6Mbps during June, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), with Reliance continuing to expand its 4G network out to 99 percent of the population by the end of 2018 across the 800MHz, 1800MHz, and 2300MHz spectrum bands.

Jio's mobile network also has a call drop rate of just 0.13 percent, the telco said, while claiming 100 percent network availability.

In total, Indian giant Reliance brought in 9,653 crore rupees ($1.4 billion) from its Digital Services Business including Jio, up 14.6 percent quarter on quarter from 8,421 crore rupees.

During the quarter, Jio had announced its new post-paid offering, as well as launching JioInteract, its artificial intelligence (AI) "brand engagement platform" -- after earlier this year investing $180 million in AI education platform Embibe -- and announcing a partnership with entertainment and gaming platform Screenz.

Jio has additionally partnered with Sodexo to enable digital payments across restaurants, cafes, grocery stores, and kiranas.

Reliance also pointed to its upcoming acquisition of US telco solutions company Radisys Corporation, which it said would "accelerate Jio's global innovation and technology leadership in the areas of 5G, IoT, and open-source architecture adoption".

Earlier this month, Reliance said it would acquire the Hillsboro, Oregon-headquartered Radisys with existing cash resources at $1.72 per share under their definitive agreement, which has yet to be approved by Radisys shareholders and the regulator.

"Radisys' top-class management and engineering team offer Reliance rapid innovation and solution development expertise globally, which complements our work towards software-centric disaggregated networks and platforms, enhancing the value to customers across consumer and enterprise segments," Reliance Jio director Akash Ambani said at the time.

"This acquisition further accelerates Jio's global innovation and technology leadership in the areas of 5G, IoT, and open-source architecture adoption."

The carrier is also launching fibre-to-the-home services across the products of Home broadband, Entertainment, Smart Home Solutions, Wireline, and Enterprise, with JioGigaFiber announced earlier in July.

JioGigaFiber will be available to customers in 1,100 cities across the nation, with interested customers able to register for services as of August 15. Jio said premises will be "connected on priority based on number of requests received in the area".

Reliance Jio in April posted full-year revenue of 23,916 crore rupees ($3.6 billion), after Q4 net profit rose slightly from 504 crore rupees last quarter up to 510 crore rupees ($76.6 million).

4G-only operator Reliance Jio was formed in 2016 by oil and telco billionaire Mukesh D Ambani, who ramped up by offering low-cost bundles.

Earlier on Monday, it was revealed that Reliance Jio's EVP of Networks Nikos Katinakis would be departing the company to begin work at Australia's incumbent carrier Telstra in mid-October as head of Networks and IT.

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