Reliance Jio and Google will jointly develop an affordable entry-level smartphone to upgrade subscribers from 2G technology to 4G technology, Reliance Industries said in its annual report.
"Since its launch in 2017, JioPhone has upgraded over 100 million users to the digital network, but without a device ecosystem and affordable 4G devices, millions of 2G subscribers are still unable to access the basic features of internet and digital applications. JioPhone (marketed by Reliance Retail) has been instrumental in bridging this digital divide by providing affordable technology in the hands of every Indian," Reliance industries said.
"Jio and Google have agreed to jointly develop an entry-level affordable smartphone that will help unlock the true potential of the Digital India movement. Improving broadband network penetration, device and services affordability, and new use cases for digital have caused a 33 per cent increase in data usage across the country over CY2020 (99 exabytes of data usage in India during 2020).
Mobile data usage in India is expected to quadruple to over 35 exabytes per month by 2026, with 1.2 billion smartphone users (Ericsson Mobility Report 2020). Jio, with its affordable data plans, has been the primary driver of data boom in India over the past three years, Reliance Industries said.
"Meanwhile, strong operating cash flow and largest ever capital raising further strengthened our balance sheet, enabling us to deleverage and meet our net-debt zero commitment ahead of stated timeline," Reliance Industries said in its annual report.
"During the year, RIL made pre-payment of $7.8 billion of long-term foreign currency debt, with requisite approvals from the RBI. This is the highest ever pre-payment of debt undertaken by any corporate borrower in India," Reliance Industries said.
"We now have a strong balance-sheet with high liquidity that will support growth plans for our three hyper-growth engines - Jio, Retail and O2C," the country's most valued company added.
Reliance Industries shares rose 0.5 per cent to Rs 2,212 after it presented its annual report.