Reliance Jio climbs to $3.6b revenue

Reliance Jio will provide 4G coverage to 99 percent of the Indian population by the end of this year, with the telco claiming the world's largest VoLTE network.

Reliance Jio has posted full-year revenue of 23,916 crore rupees ($3.6 billion), with the Indian telecommunications provider planning to provide 4G coverage to 99 percent of the population in 2018.

Quarterly net profit rose slightly from 504 crore rupees last quarter up to 510 crore rupees ($76.6 million), with Q4 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) of 2,694 crore rupees ($404.4 million), up 2.5 percent quarter on quarter.

Jio said it is the only pan-India network offering 4G across the 800MHz, 1800MHz, and 2300MHz spectrum bands, as well as having 100 percent network availability with an average download speed of 17.9Mbps during March -- which it said was more than double the speeds available on any other Indian mobile network.

Jio also claims the lowest churn in the industry, at around 0.25 percent per month, and said it has the "world's largest mobile data consumption" as well as being the world's largest voice over LTE (VoLTE) network.

"Jio has built a next generation all-IP data network with latest 4G LTE technology. It is the only network built as a mobile video network and providing voice-over-LTE technology," the company said.

"It has built a future-ready network which can easily deploy 5G and beyond technology in the last leg."

Jio added 26.5 million customers during the quarter for a total of 186.6 million subscribers as of March 31.

"Net subscriber addition for the company during the year 2017-18 was at 83 million, which was the highest in the industry by a substantial margin. Jio continues to have India's largest wireless data subscriber base, with the gap widening from the other operators," it said.

The company added that it is currently running beta trials of enterprise solutions, fibre-to-the-home (FttH), and Internet of Things (IoT) network services, and pointed to its software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualisation (NFV) capabilities as setting its network apart.

"Jio has created a strong data network with infrastructure and backhaul for offering wireless services, wireline services, FttH, enterprise offering, IoT services and other digital services. These will lead to further data consumption on the network," it said.

For the quarter to March, Jio reported an average revenue per user of 137.1 rupees per month.

Reliance, which earlier this month announced investing $180 million in artificial intelligence (AI) education platform Embibe, reported a total net profit of 36,075 crore ($5.5 billion), up 20.6 percent year on year, on revenue of 430,731 crore ($64.7 trillion), up 30.5 percent for the full year.

"Reliance has become the first Indian company to record PBDIT [profit before depreciation, interest, and taxes] of over $10 billion with each of our key businesses -- Refining, Petrochemicals, Retail, and Digital Services," Reliance Industries chair and MD Mukesh D Ambani said.

"We have established strong foundations in retailing and digital services business, with world-class supply chain management and network infrastructure which will serve our customers well."

Its organised retail business brought in 69,198 core rupees in revenue, up 104.9 percent; the media business brought in 1,839 crore rupees in revenue, up 23.3 percent; oil and gas (exploration and production) brought in 5,204 crore rupees, up 0.3 percent; petrochemicals brought in 125,299 crore rupees, up 35.5 percent; and refining and marketing brought in 306,095 crore rupees, up 22 percent.

4G-only operator Reliance Jio was formed in 2016 by oil and telco billionaire Ambani, who brought further competition to the market by offering low-cost bundles.

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