Alphabet’s Google is establishing a cloud partnership with Reliance Jio to help the country’s largest wireless operator provide technical solutions for its enterprise and consumer products, as it plans to launch 5G services.
This collaboration provides Jio with the expertise of a global technology giant as it expands its digital services to small and medium enterprises and hundreds of millions of individual customers. It provides Google with an unparalleled scale of Reliance, and its business in the new era ranges from telecommunications to e-commerce.
Jio is part of Reliance Industries, an oil retail conglomerate owned by billionaire Mukesh Ambani.
Google Cloud CEO Thomas Curry told Reuters in an interview before Reliance’s annual shareholder meeting on Thursday: “This is a broad partnership involving multiple parts of Alphabet working together.”
“Our own partnership covers many parts of Jio, not only the communications business… but also health, retail and other aspects. It allows us to broadly bring our technology to many consumers in India as well as Many consumers. Companies that Reliance serves.”
Kurian said that although Google is working with other telecommunications companies around the world to develop 5G, the scale of the Jio and Google Cloud partnership is the largest in the world for the California-based company.
He refused to share the terms of the cloud contract with Jio.
Jio established a 10-year alliance with Microsoft in 2019 to establish data centers across India. These data centers will be hosted on the Azure cloud to serve the country’s booming start-up economy.
In 2016, Jio launched low-cost data plans and free voice services, disrupting the Indian telecom market. It forced several competitors to exit the market and is now India’s largest mobile operator with more than 422 million customers.
Google invested US$4.5 billion (approximately Rs 33,370 crore) in Jio’s parent company Jio Platforms last year. This move allowed the American technology giant to win a rare board seat along with rival Facebook, which also injected into the digital space 5.7 billion US dollars (approximately Rs 42,270 crore) units.
Ambani has previously stated that Jio will “lead the 5G revolution” in India in 2021, and Jio has also listed Qualcomm and Intel as its supporters.
© Thomson Reuters 2021