Reliance Jio and Microsoft sign 10-year cloud agreement

Jio plans to deploy Microsoft Azure in its data centres, connectivity infrastructure, and use it to develop cloud-based business solutions.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

Indian carrier Reliance Jio and Microsoft have signed a 10-year agreement to deliver a set of solutions spanning from connectivity, computing, storage, and other applications to the Indian market.

Reliance Industries chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani said the partnership will help create value for small and large Indian enterprises.

"By working together to develop innovative and affordable cloud-enabled digital solutions built around Jio's world-class digital infrastructure and Microsoft's Azure cloud platform, we will accelerate the digitisation of the Indian economy and make Indian businesses globally competitive," he said.

Read also: Azure Data Box Edge: A little bit of Azure in your data center (TechRepublic)

As part of the agreement, Jio will set up data centres in locations across India, with two initial data centres to be built in the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. Each data centre will be fully operational in calendar year 2020 and will feature Microsoft Azure.

In addition, the Microsoft Azure cloud platform will be deployed within Jio's connectivity infrastructure, which aligns with the company's cloud-first strategy, and will be used to develop cloud-based productivity, collaboration, and business applications, including Office 365, targeted to suit the needs of Indian businesses across all tiers.

The agreement will also see similar cloud-based tools be made available to Jio's internal workforce, while non-network applications will be migrated to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

By the end of the fourth quarter of FY19, Jio surpassed the 300 million customer milestone, clocking 306.7 million digital service subscribers. This was later updated to 331 million subscribers during first quarter earnings ending June 30.

Last November, OpenSignal published a report on Indian mobile telecommunications, calling Jio "remarkable" and "hugely impressive" with its rapid rate of customer growth.

OpenSignal said Jio scored 96.7% on 4G availability, trailed by its competitors.

"The operator has managed to achieve availability scores of over 95 percent in all of India's regions, despite huge variations in topography, and in the face of massive increases in subscribers and data consumption," OpenSignal said.

"4G Availability scores of over 95% are very rare, particularly remarkable in a relatively new LTE market like India ... Jio has recently secured infrastructure assets from now-defunct rival RCOM, while it is now turning its attention to the fixed-line sector, meaning we expect to see no let-up in the Jio success story."

Jio also won across latency, with an average of 72.2 milliseconds, and tied first with Airtel and Vodafone on the category of "video experience", which analyses how customers experience video streaming including load time, stalling rates, and picture quality.

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