Mukesh Ambani has scored yet another investment and this time it’s the investment arm of global tech and semiconductor major Intel corporation — Intel Capital. Intel Capital has invested ₹1894.5 crore ($253.5 million) in Jio for a 0.39% stake.
“This move is more strategic rather than just an investment. It’s more of a pull rather than a push strategy,” Counterpoint analyst Tushar Pathak told Business Insider.
Experts believe that Intel’s investment in Jio can help Reliance across three main verticals – Artificial Intelligence, the 5G push and a possible debut of a Jio laptop.
Reliance too in a statement said that “Intel Capital invests globally in innovative companies with a focus on disruptive technology areas like cloud computing, artificial intelligence and 5G – opportunities where Jio is also innovating and investing for growth.”
Using Intel’s AI expertise to manage data over 500 million subscribers
Bernstein’s report from June estimated that Jio would capture nearly half the Indian market by 2025 – calling the company the ‘new king of Indian telecommunications’. It forecasts that Jio’s subscriber base will jump from its current standing at 388 million subscribers to cross 500 million by 2023 to hit 609 million by 2025.
“If that happens, it’s a massive amount of data on a particular platform. That is what is exciting these investors, especially someone like Intel Capital,” said Pathak.
Most of Intel Capital’s investments in the past have focussed on artificial intelligence (AI), including edge computing, could technology and network transformation – going from 4G to 5G.
“When 500 million subscribers will interact and create a massive database, the role of AI is going to be huge for a company like Jio. A lot of their users will have a cross-platform approach,” Pathak noted.
The 5G dream
Reliance has been gunning for 5G and Ambani has plans to test Reliance Jio’s own 5G network in-house—if it gets the requisite approval from the department of Telecommunications (DoT).
According to Pathak, Intel’s impetus is to keep an eye on companies which have the ability to make the technological shift, something that only happens once every decade. In 2020, it’s the shift to 5G.
A Jio executive wrote on LinkedIn that the Jio and Intel’s leadership in ORAN and OpenRan will benefit the growth and transformatkion of next-generation networks. ORAN and OpenRan are open source 5G software. “Intel has advanced Edge computing offerings across processors, analytics, AI and the access to this technology can help Jio Platforms engineering teams make significant pace with their 5G technology and IoT ecosystem rollouts,” said a report by Greyhound research.
A Jio laptop soon?
Intel’s expertise in consumer electronics could also come in handy for the telecom giant. Jio had already market its foray into the consumer electronics segment with mobiles and the partnership with Intel can help mark its debut in another segment-laptops where Intel has a majority market share.
“Intel can help Jio launch computing devices (Laptops and Tablets) and accessories like cameras. Might help to note that Jio is already aggressively pursuing its ambitions to become a smart city vendor in which cameras is a key ask. Also, the company has already launched IoT cameras for homes for both Smart TV and surveillance purposes,” said the Greyhound report.
However, the consumer side of things will not be the first move for Jio, believe analysts. “Their top priority will be AI, they will not be looking at the consumer side of things. It will be more in terms of the industrial Internet of Things (IoT) and other enterprise aspects,” remarked Pathak.-Business Insider