Reliance raises ₹9,555 crores from the new PIF-Reliance Retail deal

https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/pif-to-buy-2-04-in-reliance-retail-for-rs-9555-crore-6071161.html

Mukesh Ambani backed Reliance Retail has raised ₹9,555 crores from a deal with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF).

The new PIF-Reliance Retail deal ensures that PIF, one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, buys 2% in Reliance Retail. This deal is after its earlier investment of ₹11,367 crore in Jio Platforms and now has a 2.3% share in Jio.

Reliance Jio To Offer 10 kb Of Data For 0.5 paisa

Reliance will be offering the lowest data usage plans if it charges 0.5 paisa per 10 kb of data usage.

This is much lower than what the other telecom operators are providing which is 4 paise per 10 Kb data.

Reliance Digital Xpress stores across Delhi have already received Sim Card kits and the base tariff includes local and STD call at 2 paisa per second, Rs 1 per SMS and Rs 5 for international SMS. Base tariff is what the users are charged when they have not subscribed to data packs.

Apparently, it also includes Rs 5 per second for a video call. This tariff will slightly vary from the SIM cards which will be available in the market.

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Reliance Industries Asks Field Engineers To Leave Before Termination Of Contracts, Says Work Is Over

Reliance Jio’s 4G network which is soon to be launched pan India, has now let go more than 800 contracted field engineering officers before the termination of their contracts citing that work is over.

A number of engineers were asked to leave from regions including Delhi, Bhopal, Lucknow and Nagpur, and Kolkata as the infrastructure was built ahead of the schedule. However, few engineers have refused to sign the premature termination papers.

The hired engineers were ex-members of India’s armed forces and had signed a two year contract with Reliance Jio Infocomm.

Few engineers have written to Home Minister Rajnath Singh and is also seeking help from state Labour Commissioner.

Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Jio has offered a month’s pay as a compensation though according to the contract terms, it was supposed to offer only a week’s pay in case of premature terminations.

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Reliance To Offer Jio SIM For Only Rs 200 [75 GB & 4500 Mins Call Time]

Reliance Jio is gearing up for a soft launch, according to reports. The customers will be given a Jio SIM card for Rs 200 which will come with free data and voice and will provide a validity of three months.

The company had launched its 4G services back in December but only for its employees.

Apparently, all the stores and its staff have undergone training and have been equipped with infrastructure which will fasten the enrollment process.

It is still not clear if the customers will need to buy LYF handset for a SIM or can buy only SIMs.

Reliance Jio To Offer Free Wifi At Six Stadiums During T20 World Cup

Ahead of its Launch, Reliance Jio has announced that it will offer cricket fans free high speed Wi-Fi connectivity at six stadiums across the country.

The stadiums include Bangalore’s M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Dharmashala, Kolkata’s Eden Gardens, Mohali, Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi and Wankhede stadium.

With high speed connectivity, the company claims that the spectators will be able to share their story ball by ball, connect with their friends and family, surf, stay connected on social networking sites, and more.

To make this possible, Jionet has harnessed its superior network capacity along with specially designed Wi-Fi access points (APs) that will cover the entire stadium.

 

Reliance Announces 4G Budget Smartphones LYF Wind 6 and LYF Flame 1

Ahead of Reliance Jio Launch, Reliance Retail has introduced its entry level range of LYF smartphones, LYF Wind 6 and LYF Flame 1.

The devices come equipped with technology such as VoLTE and VoWi-Fi, which will deliver 4G experience when used on a VoLTE supporting network.

LYF Flame 1 and LYF Wind 6 comes for a price of Rs 6,490 and Rs 7,090 respectively.

With Wind 6 and Flame 1, everyone can experience HD-quality voice and video calls, multi-party voice and video conferencing, Wi-Fi calling, high-speed Internet, and seamless switching of a call from the service provider’s network to any available Wi-Fi network.

Both Wind 6 and Flame 1 come with a superior Qualcomm Snapdragon Chipset and 1 GB RAM. Both the devices feature a 5MP front camera, apart from a 5MP rear camera, with special modes such as blink detection, smile detection, etc.

Flame 1 is available in four vibrant colours – white, black, dark blue, and dark red.

Wind 6 has a 5-inch IPS Display, 1 GB RAM, Premium gloss finish, compact design is available in white, black, and gold colours.

Grofers Will Now Deliver Reliance’s 4G Lyf Smartphones

Grocery app Grofers will now be delivering Reliance’s new 4G smartphones, starting from January 29th.

Recently, Reliance Retail started selling 3 models of its own 4G smartphone brand Lyf to complement Reliance Jio’s services that are expected to be launched by March-April.

The three devices – Lyf Earth 1, Lyf Water 1 and Lyf Water 2 will be available on Grofers at over 150 stores across 13 cities – Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi NCR, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kanpur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai and Pune.

Grofers will be sourcing these smartphones from its network of merchants across each of the cities.

 

Reliance’s 4G LYF Smartphones Now Available At Reliance Digital

Reliance 4G Lyf smartphones are now available at Reliance Digital stores. The devices were earlier launched just for the employees.

These three models of LYF smartphones will provide Reliance Jio’s 4G services that is expected to be launched by March-April.

“We have have been selling these smartphones for last couple of days. The company is selling devices through over 1.2 lakh retailers, including Reliance Digital stores,” a Delhi-based distributor of LYF phones told PTI.

The handsets have VoLTE feature to support Reliance Jio’s plan of offering phone call service over high speed 4G network. It is high-end version of internet based calls called VoIP.

Lyf smartphone

The 4G Lyf Earth 1 comes with a 5.5-inch Full HD AMOLED display and is powered by a 1.5GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 (MSM8939) processor. It provides 3GB of RAM and comes with 32GB of internal memory and is expandable by up to another 32GB. It provides a 3,500mAh battery. The smartphone is priced at 25,800.

The Lyf Water 1 and Water 2 come with a 5-inch LCD display and 1.5GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 (MSM8939) processor. It provides 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory which can be expanded by up to 32GB. The camera is 13-megapixel with a 5-megapixel front camera. The LYF Water 1 and Water 2 have been price at Rs 17,399 and Rs 15499 respectively, as per Reliance Digital website.

The company will be providing after sales service support through 1,000 service centres across country with top cities having more multiple centres.

Reliance Jio And RCom Signs Spectrum Sharing Pact

Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Jio and Anil Ambani led Reliance Communications has signed agreements to share spectrum across 17 circles  and for change in Spectrum Allotment in 800 MHz band across 9 Circles from RCOM to RJIL.

jio

Both the companies also intend to enter into reciprocal Intra Circle Roaming arrangements.

The company statement said that, “The spectrum arrangements between RJIL and RCOM will result in network synergies, enhanced network capacity and will optimise spectrum utilisation and capex efficiencies. Both operators anticipate considerable savings in operating costs and future investment in networks.”

The arrangements are subject to liberalisation of RCOM spectrum in the 800 MHz band and obtaining requisite approvals.

Reliance Jio To Launch 4G Services By End Of December

Reliance Jio’s 4G services will be rolled out from 28th December, so as to mark the 83rd birth anniversary of Reliance Industries (RIL) founder Dhirubhai Ambani.

The service will first begin with Reliance Group employees and 5 lakh SIM cards will be distributed among them. The commercial launch of the service is expected between between April and June of 2016.

The service will be first launched across nine cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Baroda, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur and Jamnagar.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to inaugurate the service in Mumbai on December 28th, but is not yet confirmed.

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Jio Chat Is Now Available Across 9 Countries Including China, USA, UK

Jio Chat, the instant messaging app from Jio is now available across nine countries, including India. Customers in Canada, United States of America (USA), United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates South Africa, Singapore, Australia and China can now download Jio Chat and chat on iOS and Android devices.

Reliance Jio Chat 2Reliance Jio Chat 1

 “We are excited to launch our services in eight new countries as it will help in boosting our international presence and will also let our customers based in India connect seamlessly with their loved ones abroad,” said the company in a statement.

Reliance had previously launched Jio Chat in April this year, under its digital platform dubbed ‘Jio’. Reliance is also expected to launch ‘Jio Money’–their Digital Wallet service my Mid-December this year.

Reliance To Introduce ‘Jio Money’ Digital Wallet By Mid-December

The Ambani-owned Relaince subsidiary Jio Infocomm will roll-out its digital wallet service by mid-December. ‘Jio Money’ will target small and mid-sized stores to accept cashless payments through smartphones.

Jio has also tied up with State Bank of India to launch the wallet, which can be connected to bank accounts for aReliance-Jio-Logonytime banking. The partnership yet to be licensed, will enable financial services distribution by leveraging RIL’s retail and other Jio projects.

Jio Money offers plug-and-play integration kit for e-commerce and m-commerce merchants. The company said that the benefits include integrated billing & payment system, inventory management, online ordering, accounts and book-keeping, customer profile and credit management and campaign management.

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Note: Jio Infocomm had released ‘content-streaming’ packages by bundling both data and talk time into a single package. The packages were found to be violating basic principles of net neutrality.

Internet.org Now Available Across India For Reliance Users

Facebook’s internet.org that created a buzz earlier this year, can now be accessed across the country, through Internet.org’s Free Basics app on the Reliance network.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook, in a post, said, “We just took another step towards connecting India. As of today, everyone in India nationwide can access free internet services for health, education, jobs and communication through Internet.org’s Free Basics app on the Reliance network.”

fb internet.org

Citing the story of Ganesh Nimbalkar and his wife Bharati, a family from Maharashtra who depends on farming for livelihood, Zuckerberg, said, “Ganesh struggled with traditional farming methods in a region plagued by droughts, but last year he started using Free Basics — accessing services like AccuWeather, which helped him work better through the monsoon season, and Reuters Market Light, which helped him understand commodity prices and get a better deal for his crops. By using Free Basics, Ganesh has doubled his crop yield, eradicated insect infestations and even invested in new crops and livestock.”

Earlier, ClearTrip, NDTV, DailyHunt and Times Internet withdrew from the program, so as to support net neutrality.

Reliance Jio’s Newly Planned ‘Content-Streaming Package’ Not In Sync With Principles Of Net Neutrality

The Amabni-owned Reliance Jio Infocomm is planning to introduce, what they call as “content-streaming packages”, eying to compete better in the booming telco market.

The content-usage policies are exactly similar to what net neutrality activists feared the most—by bundling both data and talk time into a single package Reliance Jio could be treading on non-neutral lines.

Jio Infocom is planning on introducing ‘Jio Packages’ which will allow subscribers to watch (say 5 movies a month), or watch cricket match live, or use IM apps like Whatsapp and Viber without having to pay for the download separately.

A transaction on Jio’s payments bank platform will subsidise the connectivity, said sources from the company to ET.

“The company’s internal calculations show that even in this (content) model, it should have monetization of 60-80 per GB of data consumed. Jio has lined up applications such as chat, money, and television to back up its digital strategy,” added the source.
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Ambani in a meeting claimed that Rs 300-400 a month would buy adequate data on the Jio network for calling and Internet surfing, once the bundles are launched.

This is just a third of the current market rates being levied by existing players like Bharti Airtel, Idea and Vodafone.

 

How The New Plan Doesn’t Go Hand-In-Hand With Net Neutrality

Well, the new bundle plan looks wonderful, but the catch is that these bundles are treated as a separately deductible plan–apart from the original data and voice deductions.

So now you have previously agreed to pay money for the “special data bundle”, and any usage not specified in the bundle will be charged extra.

One principle of Net Neutrality states: “ISPs and governments should treat all data on the Internet the same, not discriminating or charging deferentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication.”

Airtel faced criticism from activists and users alike in India for their zero-rating-based Airtel Zero platform that provides free access to basic websites like facebook, flipkart, etc.

Flipkart decided not to list its website on the platform, after the widespread public outrage against Airtel Zero. Its founder, Sachin Bansal took to twitter to explain the company’s stance on net neutrality, earlier.

Sachin Bansal talks to NextBigWhat on net neutrality and Airtel Zero, take a look at it here.

Micromax YU Partners With Reliance Stores To Bring YU Smartphones Across Retail Stores In India

Micromax-owned YU Televentures, today announced its strategic partnership with Reliance Retail to bring YU brand smartphones across 30,000 Reliance retail outlets across India.

YU brand phones that were previously sold through e-commerce websites will now debut across Relaince-owned outlets in India.

The deal is an exclusive retail sales and distribution partnership to enhance the availability of popular VoLTE {Voice over LTE) mobile devices across India, says both parties.

YU brand smartphones YUPHORIA will be priced at Rs 7999; the YUNIQUE will be priced at Rs 6499, and the YUREKA PLUS at Rs10,999. These models will be one of the first set of VoLTE phones to be made available across Retail Outlets in India

Reliance Jio Misses Diwali Launch Of ‘LYF’ Smartphone, Plans To Sell Them To Employees Instead

Reliance has decided to hand-out its new ‘LYF’ brand of mobile phones to its employees at a discounted rate, after plans to sell them through their sister company Digital Xpress failed to see any light.

Store managers say that the retailing stores (Digital Xpress) under Reliance got no notification from the company’s side regarding the launch date yet, even though Diwali is coming to an end.

Sources told livemint that they are yet receive some paperwork that was supposed to be handed over to the store before it could hit the shelves. “It should be available with us in a few weeks’ time but so far there is no official communication from the company,” said a Reliance Digital Xpress store manager.

Sources also added that the employees might also be given Reliance Jio sim cards to allow immediate connectivity.

During October Relaince confirmed that they would be launching 4G-enabled smartphones by Diwali under the brand named ‘LYF’ with prices ranging from Rs 9,000 to Rs 32,000.

“This is the first step towards the plans of a countrywide launch of the LYF branded phones by Reliance Jio which will be ‘progressively available’ across hundreds of Digital Xpress stores of the company over the next couple of weeks,” sources said.

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