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Google And India’s Jio Expands Partnership, To Launch A Smartphone And Cloud Tie-Up

Google And India’s Jio Expands Partnership, To Launch A Smartphone And Cloud Tie-Up
India’s telecom firm Reliance Jio and United States tech giant Google has deepened their partnership with the Indian firm announcing recently the launch of an "ultra-affordable" smartphone which would help to help millions of people to gain access to high-speed mobile data.  The two companies also announced a cloud tie-up for boosting the 5G push of the Indian telecoms firm.
Alphabet's Google and Jio have jointly developed the 'JioPhone Next' aimed for the Indian market, said Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries, the mother company of which Jio, at his company's annual shareholder meeting.
Expansion of Jio's tech, telecoms and entertainment services via the launch of the new phone in September is targeted by Ambani which is one of the richest men in the world.
According to Hong Kong-based tech consultancy Counterpoint Research, with about 530 million smartphone users, India is the second largest mobile market in the world. However, legacy feature phones are still used by more than 300 million people in the country.
"This (the smartphone) is a testimony to a global technology giant and a national technology champion working together to make truly a breakthrough product that can be first introduced in India and then taken to the rest of the world," Ambani said.
While not putting a price on the new phones, he pledged that it will be the most affordable smartphone "not just in India, but globally".
Last year, an announcement was made by Ambani last year about Jio and Google partnering to manufacture an Android-based smartphone operating system.
With Jio planning to launch its 5G services, tech solutions for its enterprise and consumer offerings would be offered as an assistance by Google which had made an investment of $4.5 billion in Jio's parent Jio Platforms last year.
Currently, Jio is expanding its digital services to small and medium businesses as well as hundreds of millions of individuals and the partnership with Google helps it to access the expertise of a global tech giant. The unmatched scale of Reliance is in turn available from the tie up for Google. Reliance is conglomerate and has business interests in a wide range of sectors - from oil to telecoms and e-commerce.
"It's a broad partnership, it involves multiple pieces of Alphabet working together," Thomas Kurian, CEO at Google Cloud, told Reuters, adding: "Our own partnership spans multiple parts of Jio not just the communications business ... but also health, retail and other things."
The terms of the cloud deal with Jio were not shared by him.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a message played at Reliance's meeting that Reliance will shift its core retail businesses to Google Cloud's infrastructure as part of this partnership.
In 2019, a 10-year alliance with Microsoft was established by Jio which is focused on building data centres across India that will be hosted on its Azure cloud platform. The target of that partnership is to offer services to the booming start-up economy of India.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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