How Mukesh Ambani plans to make India ‘2G-mukt’
For the last 20 years, India’s mobile users have been used to call drops and low speed Internet services. That’s because nearly 70 per cent of the subscriber base continues to be services based on the oldest mobile technology — 2G. These users are unable to afford a 3G or 4G-enabled smartphone and, therefore, cannot experience high speed broadband even though 4G services may be available in their location.
This could change if Mukesh Ambani’s partnership with Google to develop an affordable smartphone takes shape.
“Together we are excited to rethink, from the ground up, how millions of users in India can become owners of smartphones. This effort will unlock new opportunities, further power the vibrant ecosystem of applications and push innovation to drive growth for the new Indian economy,” Google said in a blogpost. “This partnership comes at an exciting but critical stage in India’s digitisation. It’s been amazing to see the changes in technology and network plans that have enabled more than half a billion Indians to get online,” it added.
Google on its own had earlier attempted to roll out an affordable smartphone through its Android One programme. But that project faced its own issues. Partnering Ambani could bring the mojo back into Google’s ambitions to enable low cost devices.
Android OS for India
“We have sold over 100 million 4G feature phones till date. We believe we can design entry-level 4G and 5G smartphones at a fraction of cost. Google and Jio are partnering to build an Android smartphone operating system for India,” Ambani said, adding that the target is make India “2G-mukt”.