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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

Reliance Jio Fiber to Microsoft cloud partnership: Top tech announcements from RIL AGM

Reliance Jio is betting big on new-age technologies such as fiber optic, mixed reality, and blockchain. Here are key technology announcements Reliance made this week.

tech Updated: Aug 15, 2019 13:21 IST
Kul Bhushan
Kul Bhushan
Hindustan Times
Top tech announcements from RIL AGM
Top tech announcements from RIL AGM(Reuters)
         

Reliance held its 42nd annual general meeting earlier this week. The company made a slew of announcements with a special focus on technology-driven services. The roadmap includes fiber optic-based Jio Fiber broadband services, blockchain and a 10-year long strategic partnership with Microsoft.

Jio Fiber

Reliance Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani at the company’s AGM announced that Jio Fiber will commercially launch on September 5. Jio Fiber services will be aimed at both home and enterprise users with data plans starting at Rs 700 per month to Rs 10,000 per month. Reliance Jio said the base Jio Fiber plan will offer up to 100Mbps of data speeds. Reliance Jio Fiber will also come bundled with subscriptions to top OTT platforms. Some of the key highlights include free HD/4K TV and 4K set-top-box with Jio Fiber annual plans and a ‘Jio First-day-first-show’ for movie buffs.

Mixed Reality

Reliance Jio is betting big on Mixed Reality. The company revealed a new MR headset called ‘Holoboard’. Developed in collaboration with a MR startup Tesseract, Holoboard is said to be highly useful for educational, entertainment and shopping purposes. The demonstration revealed users can create a 3D avatar of themselves The Holoboard MR headset will also allow users to watch films in cinematic mode – similar to how ANT-VR headsets work. Reliance Jio’s Holoboard MR headset will be sold separately. The company hasn’t announced the price of the device yet but said it will be “affordable.”

Reliance Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani addressing 42nd AGM
Reliance Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani addressing 42nd AGM ( Reliance )

Blockchain

Reliance Jio is one of the first big names in India to embrace blockchain technology. The company promised to set up “one of the largest blockchain networks in the world in India.” It will also install “tens of thousands of nodes” to make the decentralised network work. Reliance Jio’s blockchain network will leverage edge computing and content distribution across India. Jio believes blockchain can also help keep data of users safe.

Microsoft cloud partnership

Satya Nadella made a surprise appearance at Jio’s AGM. Reliance Jio and Microsoft have entered a decade-long partnership to offer cloud services. Jio will set up data centers which will be hosted on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform.

“We now have the capability to develop truly India-native solutions, including speech recognition and natural language understanding for all major Indian languages and dialects,” said Ambani.

Microsoft’s Chief Executive Satya Nadella said: “Together, we will offer comprehensive technology solutions – from compute and storage, to connectivity and productivity – to small and medium businesses everywhere in the country.” 

First Published: Aug 15, 2019 13:21 IST

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