Telecom giant Reliance Jio is in advanced talks with original equipment manufacturer (OEMs) and tech companies to launch its internet of things (IoT) services business in India.
The company said in a recent analyst presentation that it has developed a comprehensive IoT solution with device, diagnostics, connectivity, platform and support. It has partnered with South Korean brand Samsung to create a pan-India IoT network based on narrowband IoT technology.
Reliance Industries’ chairperson and managing director Mukesh Ambani had earlier said that Jio would aim to have a network of a billion IoT devices to its IoT platform, unlocking INR 20K Cr in annual revenue opportunity. It has successfully conducted pilots with various electricity distribution companies (DISCOM).
The company is now integrating its IoT solution with other OEMs and has tied up systems integrators for the rollout. Reliance is looking to tap the smart city plans underway in many municipalities with its smart lighting solutions to begin with.
Built on a low power wide area (LPWA) network, the narrowband IoT technology is said to be affordable and could be used to power applications such as agricultural drones, smart speakers and home security systems, besides the enterprise and industrial applications.
Beyond IoT, Jio has also said it would offer 5G speeds and services on its wireless network as early as this year as it has already started advance tests to prepare the fifth-generation and high-speed network. However, the plan is hinged to the government decision to conduct the 5G spectrum auction.
The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), in a meeting with the department of telecommunications (DoT), sought clarity on the timeline of 5G spectrum auction so telecom operators can prepare for field trials and rollout.
The fifth generation network was expected to be launched in India by 2020, but the spectrum auction date has not even been set yet. Reliance Jio had reached out to DoT last year seeking 5G spectrum even though there was no official announcement for an auction. The company has applied for 800 megahertz (MHz) spectrum each in both the millimeters — 26 gigahertz (GHz) and 24 GHz — wave mmWave band as well as 100 MHz in the 3.5 GHz band for field trials in few metro cities.