Indian prime minister Narenda Modi takes a photo with his phone Kevin Frayer, Getty Images

India to Receive First 4G Services Later This Year

After spending billions of dollars at auction purchasing wireless spectrum, Reliance looks to capitalize by tapping into almost 1 billion potential users.

MUMBAI — India’s maiden 4G mobile services will be rolled out in December, the country’s richest man Mukesh Ambani said Friday, five years after Reliance Industries first received spectrum for the project.

Ambani told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting that the multi-billion-dollar telecommunications network called Reliance Jio Infocomm would be up and running by the end of the year.

“The combination of Jio’s strong initiatives and a supportive global environment gives me the confidence that we will see 4G LTE smartphones in India at prices below 4,000 rupees ($62) by December of this year,” the Reliance chairman said.

Jio is already present in all of India’s 29 states, including 18,000 cities and more than 100,000 villages, Ambani said.

He added that the network would cover 80% of India’s population initially before aiming to extend to everybody within three years.

The Mumbai-based firm will offer customers monthly packages of between 300 and 500 rupees ($4.68 to $7.79) for the high-speed data services, the billionaire said.

Reliance Industries has spent billions of dollars purchasing wireless spectrum at auction from the government in recent years as it looks to dominate India’s cut-throat mobile market of an estimated 952 million users.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

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