Can Jio lead India’s transition to 5G?

In a country’s digital journey, it may be impossible to select a private player to usher in a massive change. But in India’s telecoms story, you can definitely classify the calendar as pre-Jio and post-Jio era. For the Mukesh Ambani-led company (Reliance Jio), it has made a remarkable impact in its five years of existence.

Take a look at these numbers: At the time of Reliance Jio’s launch on September 5, 2016, India had more than 1.02 billion mobile users. It was then the 12th mobile telecom player on the market. In short, there are now practically only 4 players in the fray (Airtel, Jio, Vodafone and the state-owned BSNL), but the number of subscribers has risen to more than 1.14 billion (June figure). Jio, with a 36% market share, is now the number one player. It is also the largest provider of home broadband services and now plans to target 100 million households by providing fixed wireless access after the launch of its 5G service. It has also raised $20.6 billion by selling an approximately 33% stake to 13 investors around the world, including Google and Meta.

How prepared is Jio for the 5G journey?

The digital journey of Reliance Jio. Credit: Reliance Jio

But all eyes are now on the highly anticipated 5G services, which will be rolled out in India in October. 5G is expected to account for nearly 40% of India’s mobile subscriptions – 500 million – by the end of 2027. By the end of 2027, smartphone users in India are expected to consume an average of 50 GB of data per month. Also, 5G is likely to generate $17 billion in incremental revenues from enterprises by 2030 for Indian mobile service providers.