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Jio to get additional Rs 15,000 Cr through rights issue and more


Reliance Industries said that it would infuse an additional Rs 15,000 crore in its telecom unit Reliance Jio (RJio) through a rights issue, which could take the total investment to about Rs 60,000 crore, during an analyst call, as indicated by this Livemint report. The recent fund addition comes after RJio raised Rs 2,000 crore through 5 year bonds via private placement in this month.

In October last year, Jio raised Rs 3000 crore by issuing secured redeemable non-convertible debentures to aid its 4G roll out. In May 2015, the company had raised a $750 million loan (~Rs 4500 crore) from nine banks on a 10 year repayment period.

The company also detailed plans of network rollout status, spectrum capacity, and various tie-ups with vendors and distributors for different products and services under the Jio brand, during the analyst call (pdf). These are listed below.

On Spectrum and network roll-out

RJio claims that network optimization in the 800Mhz band is being carried out and has reached the final stages. It is yet to conduct optimization in  4 circles— Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Rajasthan, for which RJio was allocated spectrum on July 6th. Deployment and optimization in these circles will take 6-8 weeks. However, the company has not yet hinted on an exact date for commercial roll-out, but said that the entire spectrum repository would be deployed in creating LTE networks and not in legacy networks. It also hinted on plans of FTTH and Wi-Fi services for users under the Jio brand.

The company said during analyst call that it currently holds total liberalized spectrum of 846.10 MHz including:
-440 MHz of spectrum in the 2300MHz band (one block of 20MHz in 22 circles)
-213.60 MHz of spectrum in the 1800 MHz band (blocks ranging from 2×3 MHz to 2×10 MHz in 18 circles).
-192.50 MHz in the 800 MHz band (blocks ranging from 2×2.5 MHz to 2×5 MHz in 22 circles, including spectrum acquired from Reliance Communications Limited (“RCOM”) across 13 circles).

RJio and RCOM Deal

RJio said during analyst call that the agreement with RCOM for sharing of spectrum (in 800MHz band) is now extended across 21 circles and that currently it completed transaction for transfer of spectrum in 800MHz band from RCOM to Jio across 13 circles.

RCOM and Reliance Jio had signed a deal in January to share 4G bandwidth in 17 circles using the 800MHz band; the  DoT had approved  deal between the two telcos in May.

On LYF Devices

Yesterday it was reported that RJio had over 1.5 million test users on its network, while the average monthly data consumption of those users is over 26GB per user per month, while the average voice usage per month is over 355 minutes per user. RJio said much of the data and voice usage came from the trial network roll-out initiated in May for all LYF devices users under the “Jio LYF Preview Offer”.

Offline distribution

RJio claims to have sold more than 2 million LYF smartphones through its offline distribution arm Reliance Retail. Currently, 20 different LYF models are being sold ranging from Rs 3,000 to Rs 20,000 in the market through Reliance Digital outlets. As on 30th June 2016, Reliance Retail operated 3,383 stores across 679 cities. The company said that more than 5 lakh connectivity sales distributors have already signed for SIM and recharge packs sale, without mentioning if these distributors are offline or online vendors.

On Jio apps

The company currently has 11 different mobile apps for users, which seems more like a replacement for existing utility apps. They are: MyJio, JioChat, JioPlay, JioOnDemand, JioBeats, JioMaags, JioXpressNews, JioDrive, JioJoin, JiMoney, and JioSecurity. Most of these apps are available only to users with a Jio ID—just like Apple ID but think about it like an ID for Jio users

-Under JioOnDemand app, RJio claims to offer live streaming of more than 300 TV channels  in 15 languages and 10 genres, with at least 30 HD channels, posing a competition to existing player like nexGTv, YuppTV, VOOT, Netflix, etc. The app will also offer curated ad-free HD movies, TV shows, and other short video content, taking the total to more than 100,000 minutes of video content.

-Under JioBeats music streaming app, the company will offer more than 1 million tracks across 20 Indian languages and international genres. The app will also offer connectivity and streaming capability to wireless devcies and wearables, along with a ‘One Touch Radio’ service that will stream ad-free music curated by experts.

-For JioMaags app, the company claims to offer more than 5,000 individual magazine issues across 15 categories and 10 languages.

-The JioXpressNews app claims to have on boarded more than 500 publishers, with more than 1,600 news sources in 11 languages. The app also provides an offline mode for saving and reading articles later.

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