In a major boost to digital presence, Reliance Jio announced the relaunch of its made-in-India mobile web browser called JioPages while “keeping privacy at the core of the browser.”
Claiming to be “conceptualised and designed entirely in India,” the browser built on Chromium Blink engine, offers users a choice of eight regional languages, which include Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Gujarati, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Bengali.
JioPages also provides localised news content, a smart download manager, incognito browsing and encrypted connections. The JioPages web browser is currently available for download on the Google Play Store. However, the company does not seem to have launched the iOS variant of the browser yet.
Key features of the browser except for the regional language support and content curation, include a PIN-locked Incognito Mode and a built-in Adblock Plus.
“It provides enhanced browsing experience through faster engine migration, webpage rendering, faster page loads, efficient media streaming, Emoji domain support and encrypted connection,” Jio said in a statement.
The launch of JioPages comes the same day Reliance announced its plans to roll out 5G enabled smartphones at an initial price of around INR 5,000, which will be subsequently lowered to around INR 2,500 as production scales up. The cheapest 5G-enabled smartphones currently available in India are priced at around INR 27,000.
Furthermore, in order to boost 5G connection in India, Jio and Qualcomm Technologies Inc. along with its wholly owned subsidiary Radisys Corporation on Tuesday had announced their expanded efforts for 5G network solutions. This work is intended to fast track the development and roll out of indigenous 5G network infrastructure and services in India.
Qualcomm and Jio also announced that they achieved over a 1 Gbps speed during the trials on the Jio 5GNR solution, leveraging the Qualcomm 5G RAN Platforms.
The Big Vernacular Push
A study by KPMG on the vernacular internet users in India has estimated that out of the total 735 Mn internet users in India by the year 2021, 73%(or 536 Mn) are going to Indian language internet users. This means any tech company that’s catering to this rising tide is likely to see significant growth in the near future.
The demand for vernacular content has also made the likes of Google, Facebook, Twitter and others to focus on Indian languages.
These tech giants have spurred on investments in early and growth-stage startups as well. The degree of capitalisation by startups in the regional language tech sector is visible in the growing annual value of funding amount into Indian vernacular startups.
The estimated market opportunity of the vernacular content in India is $53 Bn (2021) as per Inc42Plus estimates. The total funding amount into regional language startups between 2014 and Q3 2019 was approximately $708 Mn across 49 deals. The top-funded startups in this space are Sharechat ($224 Mn), DailyHunt ($124 Mn), Roposo ($38 Mn) and Pratilipi ($24.5 Mn).
According to Google, nine out of 10 new internet users in the country at present are consuming online content in Indian languages.
In all, Jio Platforms — that houses India’s youngest but largest telecom firm Jio and apps — has raised about INR 1,52,056 Cr from 13 investors, including Facebook, Google, Silver Lake, Vista Equity Partners, General Atlantic, KKR, Mubadala, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), TPG Capital, L Catterton, Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, Intel Capital and Qualcomm Ventures, for a total 32.9% stake.