Jio’s Rs 70,000 cr plan to connect all India

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RIL’s Rs 1.8 lakh cr investment in four verticals will start generating cash in 3 years: Ambani

Jio’s Rs 70,000 cr plan to connect all India
RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani on Wednesday announced the scale of his ambitious Rs 70,000 crore broadband service Reliance Jio, which will become operational as the world’s largest telecom network in phases starting 2015-16.

Riding the 4G pipeline, Reliance Jio will initially cover 5,000 towns and cities accounting for over 90 per cent of urban India and over 2.15 lakh villages across all Indian states, Ambani said at RIL’s 40th annual general meeting in Mumbai. Eventually, the network would cover all the country’s 600,000 villages.

Addressing the shareholders Ambani said, “The network could lead to creation of millions of entrepreneurs and jobs in secondary and tertiary sectors and our aim is to make all the critical information available to citizens at the touch of a button.”

Right now, RIL is conducting limited field trials, while the expanded field trials would commence in August and would continue for the entire year. “The objective is to ensure that everything that we offer is future proof and world class. The value creation would be on the base of 1.25 billion Indians with an opportunity to include all sections of our society to form a digital economy,” Ambani said.

Ambani also referred to the acquisitions of Network18 Media & Investments and its subsidiary TV18 Broadcast as a major digital services play that would differentiate and strengthen the company’s portfolio of 4G, telecom, web and digital commerce businesses.

“We would leverage on the emerging data explosion with large volume and data traffic and data-driven application for all hues and cross sections of the rural and urban people, including individuals, businesses and enterprises,” said Ambani.

Ambani also highlighted the importance and significance of their massive three-year investments worth Rs 1.80 lakh crore in four verticals of petrochemicals, refining & marketing, retail and Reliance Jio and how they would be cash accretive from 2016-17. By comparison, Ambani said RIL had invested Rs 240,000 crore in the past 37 years.

The maximum investments are scheduled for the petrochemicals division with massive expansion and greenfield capacities are being executed in plastics through integrated cracker capacities, aromatics and butyl rubber projects. All these projects are expected to be completed in 24 months. Also, the construction work at the coke gasification plant at the Jamnagar refinery has started and the company is now looking at completing the recruitment work there.

In the oil and gas segment, the company expects gas prices to be revised upwards soon. Besides it is also seeking an early judgement on the arbitration filed on the issue along with its joint venture partners BP and Niko Resources.

Ambani said Reliance has shown great interest in diversifying into more international territories apart from North America in search of building oil and gas reserves.

The company has managed in its shale gas assets in the US well, and also won few blocks in Myanmar in the latest round of auctions.

“We are progressing with evaluation of opportunities in Venezuela to further strengthen our existing relationships with Venezuelan government-owned oil major, PDVSA,” Ambani said.

He said RIL has future plans for retail segment that turned into the black last financial year. Reliance Retail plans to enter more than 900 cities in some formats such as Reliance Digital Express.Mini.

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