India’s richest man unveils telecoms venture with free calls, cut-price data

(From Reuters)

India’s Reliance Industries unveiled its Jio telecom network on Thursday, touting free calls and rock-bottom data prices that sent shares of established telecom players into a nosedive on fears of an all-out price war.

Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd, poses with his son Akash in Mumbai

Mukesh Ambani (R), chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd, poses with his son Akash before addressing the company’s annual general meeting in Mumbai, India September 1, 2016. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade

Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man, told the energy group’s annual shareholders’ meeting that services on the Jio network would be available for free until Dec. 31 in a “welcome offer”.

Reliance, which has been giving freebies for the past few months as part of network testing, did not say when it would start billing customers.

Reliance, one of India’s biggest conglomerates which gets most of its revenue from its sprawling oil and gas business, has in recent years expanded into more consumer-facing markets such as retail and telecoms as growth slows in its core business.

The company, which secured telecom airwaves in 2010, has so far invested more than $20 billion on building a nationwide network and has pledged to offer affordable services to price-conscious Indian customers. Read More

Categories: Asia Unhedged, India

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