MediaNama has learned from reliable sources that Arvind Rao, who was a part of the team involved in launching services of Reliance Jio, has left the venture. Rao declined to confirm or deny whether he is still with Reliance Jio, saying only that “I’m not commenting on anything”. Rao, as per an Economic Times story last year, had been appointed Head of Innovation at the not-yet-launched data services operator. Rao is the co-founder and former CEO of Onmobile Global*, and had joined the company in late 2012.
According to our sources, Rao, along with Aniruddha (Ajit) Nazre, were heading the content and data services side of the business (as opposed to the voice and infrastructure side), so it’s unexpected that Rao should leave before the services are even launched. Sadly, though, Jio appears to be taking a Value Added services approach to content: providing Live TV (Jio Play), Video on Demand (Jio World), web storage (Jio Drive), its own magazine stand (Jio Magazine), among others.
In the recently concluded spectrum auctions, Reliance Jio won 78.8 MHz spectrum in 1800 MHz in 14 circles for Rs 11054.41 crore. In terms of city specific spectrum, the maximum spectrum it won was 6.6 MHz for Rs 1795.20 crore in Mumbai, followed by Madhya Pradesh (6.4 MHz for Rs 22 crore) and North East (6.4 MHz for Rs 44.8 crore). The most expensive spectrum it won was in Delhi, at Rs 1965.6 crore for 5.4 MHz.
*Disclosure: Onmobile Global is an advertiser with MediaNama