Published: Tue, August 13, 2019
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Mukesh Ambani seconds irked shareholder's view — RIL AGM

Mukesh Ambani seconds irked shareholder's view — RIL AGM

The fastest-growing operator in the world had crossed 300 million subscribers by April 2019, is now India's biggest telecom operator with 340 million subscribers with a network that is already "4G plus" and can be upgraded to 5G at "minimal costs".

Jio Fiber services would be available on a commercial basis from September 5.

At last year's AGM, the company said it would roll out the GigaFiber service to 1,100 cities across the country, with homes, merchants, SMEs, and large enterprises all targeted.

The Jio Fiber plans will be priced between Rs. 700 and Rs. 10,000 per month to meet the diverse demands of consumers, the executive said.

But shares of telecom majors Bharti Airtel fell 4% and Vodafone Idea slid nearly 5% as the announcements spurred worries of a repeat of what happened just three years ago when Reliance's Jio burst on to the scene. Voice calls from home will be absolutely free forever for all Jio Fiber subscribers with ISD calls being offered for much lower as well.

The report further said that Hathway, Den, GTPL Hathway (owned or investee companies of RIL) also offer home broadband at price of Rs 350-400 per month but offering lower speeds of 50 Mbps, whereas RIL is promising a minimum speed of 100 Mbps at a minimum rate of Rs 700. There were also announcements made regarding a "zero latency gaming platform" along with a stage demo through the 4K set-top box that has support for most gaming controllers and will support gameplay in 4K. Jio also unveiled affordable worldwide calling rates like US/Canada pack priced at Rs 500 per month. Jio Postpaid Plus plans are said to provide a "platinum-grade" experience, and will also include "unprecedented Family plans", affordable worldwide roaming, and phone upgrades at "preferential rates". The RIL Chairman clarified that these products will be absolutely free with the Jio Forever Plan or Jio Fiber Welcome offer.

Saudi Arabia wants to raise a record $100 billion from selling a 5% stake in Aramco, which would make it the biggest IPO in history and a windfall for any banks that win a role.

Paired with the Jio GigaFiber annual plans that offer a free LED TV, this could be quite a killer deal.

Aramco plans to buy a stake in the refining and chemicals business of India's Reliance Industries it seeks buyers for its crude and diversification downstream. The Jio HoloBoard Mixed Reality headset is expected on sale shortly.

Speaking at the AGM, Mukesh Ambani said, "for the first time in the Indian market, Reliance has come up with a disruptive concept of watching new movies".

JioFiber data plans will be bundled with subscriptions to premium OTT platforms.

Mukesh Ambani is trying to hit two birds with one stone through the value-unlocking exercise across RIL's businesses, in which he had invested over ₹5.4 lakh crore in the last five years, of which ₹3.5 lakh crore has been invested in Reliance Jio alone. Jio has also launched a service where its customers can directly watch movies released on the very first day from home itself.

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