Reliance Industries up 3% on 5G plans; sees rollout in second half of 2021

Speaking at India Mobile Congress 2020, Mukesh Ambani said policy steps are needed to accelerate an early rollout of 5G
Shares of Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries advanced nearly 3 per cent to Rs 2,014 on the BSE in the intra-day deals on Tuesday after the chairman of the oil-to-telecom conglomerate said the company plans to launch 5G services in the second half of 2021.

Speaking at India Mobile Congress 2020, Ambani said policy steps are needed to accelerate an early rollout of 5G, and to make it affordable and available everywhere.

"I assure you that Jio will pioneer the 5G Revolution in India in the second half of 2021. It will be powered by indigenous-developed network, hardware and technology components. Jio's 5G service will be a testimony to your inspiring vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat," he said. READ ABOUT IT HERE

He also pitched for policy interventions to bring smartphones to 300 million 2G phone users in India so that they can also benefit from digital transformations.

Early this year, Mukesh Ambani had announced Reliance Jio's commercial pact with Google to jointly develop entry-level affordable 4G and possibly 5G smartphones for a '2G mukt Bharat' (free of 2G India) in the future. 

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"We believe we can design an entry-level 4G or even 5G smartphone for a fraction of its current cost. To power such a value-engineered smartphone, we also need an equally value-engineered operating system, and such an operating system must be designed from grounds-up,” Ambani had said at the company's 43rd Annual General Meeting this year.

Reliance Jio's emphasis on 5G and driving subscribers away from the 2G network indicate a shift in strategy from price-led differentiation to service-led differentiation. This, analysts at Jefferies said, bodes well for the sector's pricing environment.

"While we expect 5G spectrum to be auctioned next year with operators only buying it the year after that to lower its exorbitant $7 billion price, Reliance's move on 5G could result in an earlier than expected 5G capex cycle, which would impact the FCF and ROCE profile of the sector, but accelerate market share shifts towards companies with stronger balance sheets," it had said in a post AGM company update.

At 11:40 am, the stock of RIL was ruling 1.7 per cent higher at Rs 1,993 per share relative to a 0.08-per cent rise in the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex. A combined 12.8 million shares had changed hands on the counter on the NSE and BSE till the time of writing of this report.

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