Can Jio Lead India’s Transition to 5G?

In a country’s digital journey, it may be impossible to single out a private player to usher in massive change. But in India’s telecom history, you can set the calendar as it was pre-Jio and post-Jio. For the company run by Mukesh Ambani (Reliance Jio) it has had a notable impact in the five years of its existence.

Just consider these numbers: at the time Reliance Jio was launched on September 5, 2016, India had over 1.02 billion mobile users. It was the 12th mobile telecommunications player on the market at the time. So far, there are practically only 4 players in the fray now (Airtel, Jio, Vodafone and the state-owned BSNL), but the number of subscribers has risen to over 1.14 billion (June number). Jio, with 36% market share, is the number one player now. It is also the largest provider of home broadband services and now plans to reach 100 million homes by providing fixed wireless access following the launch of its 5G service. It also raised $20.6 billion by selling about a 33% stake to 13 investors worldwide, including Google and Meta.

How prepared is Jio for the 5G journey?

Reliance Jio’s digital journey. (Image credit: Reliance Jio)

But all eyes are now on the much-anticipated 5G services, which are due to launch in India in October. 5G is expected to account for nearly 40% of mobile subscriptions in India – 500 million – by the end of 2027. By the end of 2027, smartphone users in India are expected to consume 50GB of data per month on average. Furthermore, 5G is likely to make Indian mobile service providers generate $17 billion in incremental enterprise revenue by 2030.

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