On Friday, chairman of Reliance Industries and India’s richest man emphasized the need for many Indians to move on from 2G technology. In a statement video, Mukesh Ambani mentioned that many Indians are still “trapped” in the 2G technology, keeping them from even basic Internet services as the world is gearing towards a 5G revolution.
Leaving 2G behind
According to Ambani, “I specifically refer to the fact that India still has 300 million mobile subrscribers trapped in the 2G era, their feature phones keep them excluded even from the basic usage of the internet at a time when both India and the rest of the world are standing at the doorsteps of 5G telephony. I think necessary policy steps should be taken with utmost urgency to make 2G a part of history.”
Previously, the business tycoon, also the world’s 5th richest person, had promised to steer India away from 2G technology by means of its Jio Platforms. His efforts would include affordable smartphones replacing feature phones.
— Economic Times (@EconomicTimes) July 31, 2020
Furthermore, his company’s partnership with Facebook if proven successful in signing up small businesses to use WhatsApp services, would be the blueprint for the huge social media company to take it globally, according to Facebook CEO on Thursday.
Several months ago, Mark Zuckerberg’s company teamed up with Jio Mart in an attempt to organize kiranas (small business stores in India) and set them to go online. Ambani’s company also hopes to reach out to farmers, teachers, students, and other SMEs to take advantage of their digital payment services. This is Facebook’s largest deal since the tech giant’s acquisition of WhatsApp in 2014.
Telling analysts, Zuckerberg said, “We’re really excited about the opportunity there. And once we prove that out with Jio in India, we’re planning on expanding it to more folks in India and to other countries as well.”
Other companies have attempted to capture the attention of kiranas to go digital, such as FlipKart and Amazon, but with minimal success, according to CNN Business. Analysts have also agreed that Jio is capable of bringing success in this area.
Previously, VP for Facebook India Ajit Mohan said, “It gives you a sense of the importance that Facebook has placed on India. I think it is a special country for us.”
Ambani has also expressed before that he wants his company to go as big as Tencent or Google. Other US companies have also invested in the Indian conglomerate, including Silicon Valley giant Alphabet’s Google.