As part of Wednesday's strategic announcement, Google and Reliance Jio Platforms will work on a customized-version of Android operating system to develop low-priced, entry-level smartphones to serve the next hundreds of millions of users, said Ambani.
Reliance Jio Platforms announced that Google is acquiring a 7.73pc stake in the Indian business for $4.5bn. That's hundreds of millions of potential customers that Google and Jio want to be ready to absorb. "And we believe the pace of Indian innovation means that the experiences we create for India can ultimately be expanded to the rest of the world", Google adds. This is not the first time Jio Platforms has expressed interest in mobile operating system or handsets.
In the last 12 weeks, the company has raised capital from investors such as Facebook, Silver Lake Partners (two investments), Vista Equity Partners, General Atlantic, KKR, Mubadala, ADIA, TPG, L Catterton, PIF, Intel Capital and Qualcomm Ventures.
Google could potentially also benefit from Ambani's closeness to the nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi which has taken a hard stand on issues such as data localisation and digital taxes, a headache for big tech firms such as Facebook and Google. Users can expect field deployment in 2021, and the 5G service will be available for trials as soon as the spectrum is available. "Once Jio's 5G solution is proven at India's scale, Jio Platforms would be well-positioned to be an exporter to other telecom operators globally as a complete managed service", he added. Facebook invested $5.7 billion in Reliance Jio Platforms, which has amassed over 400 million subscribers in less than four years, in April this year for a 9.99% stake in it. Facebook is the largest minority stakeholder in Jio Platforms. It now offers free express grocery delivery from neighbourhood mom-and-pop stores.
Reliance Jio has announced that its JioFiber set-top-box users will now be able to watch content using its latest offering called JioTV Plus.