Reliance Industries Ltd. will roll out its 4G services starting December and aims to cover all 29 states, said chairman Mukesh Ambani at the company's 41st Annual General Meeting with shareholders.
The company has laid 2.5 lakh kilometers of fibre optic cable to enable a wide launch of Reliance Jio. "Over the next few months, we will initiate an extensive beta launch," Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani, India's richest man, told shareholders on Friday.
And the plans would be the cheapest in the country for that speed. "All this at about Rs 300-500 per month," Ambani said in the speech that lasted over an hour.
Reliance is the only company that has a nationwide 4G license since the auction in 2010. It has taken five years since then to develop the required infrastructure to start services on a wide scale. Ambani said that key components for the broadband service are in place.
The company has spent $15 billion on digital businesses, including Jio, but has little to show for it. The roll-out plan for Jio would be reassuring to investors and shareholders.
In addition, Ambani said that the company will push for cheaper 4G-enabled smartphones and expects such devices to be priced below Rs 4,000 by end 2015.
Reliance Industries is India's largest private sector company, and will post tough competition to existing operators — such as Airtel, Vodafone and Idea — with its deep pockets and scale. India'a tariffs are already among the lowest in the world, which has spurred wide adoption of mobile devices.
Reliance shares were up 1.5 percent on Friday afternoon, compared to a flat Mumbai stock market.
(With agency inputs)