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After wireless, Reliance Jio will launch fixed line services: Mukesh Ambani

LiveMint logoLiveMint 21-07-2017 PTI

Mumbai: Reliance Industries Ltd chairman Mukesh Ambani on Friday said rolling out fixed line services will be the next focus area for the company’s telecom services arm, Reliance Jio, after the wireless expansion.

“In next level, we’re very focused in terms of giving fixed line connectivity to both home and enterprise,” Ambani said, answering shareholder queries at the company’s 40th annual general meeting here. Earlier, he said Jio is targeting to expand its wireless network to cover 99% of the country’s population in the next 12 months which will make sure that the 4G coverage in the country is more than the 2G one.

Jio on Friday launched a 4G-ready handset targeted at the 50 crore Indians using a smartphone at present. As part of the offering, it is also giving a cable to connect with the TV as a special accessory to display the phone content on a bigger screen. According to experts, convergence is a big opportunity for telecom companies which entails providing wireless, fixed line, direct-to-home and video-on-demand services to a single family or a business.

Jio’s biggest rival, Bharti Airtel Ltd, is already present in the fixed line segment, albeit with a smaller footprint. Meanwhile, answering queries on the performance of its media and entertainment arm TV18, Ambani said plans are underway to improve its performance. “We will work in terms of making sure that on TV18, we have a value creation path,” he told the shareholders. Some shareholders had also asked him about the rationale of investing to pick up 25% share in Balaji Telefilms, which was announced on Thursday.

A majority of the shareholders welcomed the performance of the company and the bonus issue declared on Friday but there were some who suggested a re-look at the dividend allocation policies.

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