Reliance is exploring a “brand-new” model for data privacy where “Indians’ data is owned and controlled through technology by Indian people and not by corporates”, by installing blockchain technology across the country, said Mukesh Ambani at Reliance’s 42nd annual general meeting. This isn’t surprising; Reliance’s annual report for 2018-19 stated that “Indians are the true owners of their data and the ownership should not be transferred to any corporate entity: The company has backed data localisation as well.

At the AGM, Ambani announced an alliance with Microsoft to open up data centres in the country. Ambani also said Reliance Jio and Retail Retail may move towards listing in the next five years.

Here’s all you need to know

1. Jio to install blockchain networks: Jio will install blockchain networks across India, Ambani said before adding that Reliance has invested in 14 startups for this initiative so far.

“[By] using blockchain, we also have an opportunity to invent a brand-new model for data privacy where Indian data especially customer data is owned and controlled through technology by the Indian people and not by corporates, especially global corporations,” Ambani said.

2. Reliance and Microsoft to launch data centres in India: Announcing a partnership with Microsoft, Ambani said that Reliance will set up a network of large world class data centres across the country which will be powered by Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. “When we put these two pieces together, we now have the capabilities to develop India-native solutions including speech recognition, and natural language understanding for all major Indian languages and dialects,” Ambani added.

“Jio and Microsoft will partner to launch new cloud data centres in India, ensuring more of Jio’s customers can access the tools and platforms they need to build their own digital capability,”
– Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft (via a video call)

3. Jio will venture into IoT:  Jio’s IoT platorm will be commercially available from 1 January 2020. “Jio has developed a service on its pan India 4G network called NB IoT. Using NB IoT, data from billions of smart sensors – whether residential, industrial or public – can be collected from across India with the highest reliability and lowest cost,” Ambani said. Jio aims to connect at least 1 billion devices on Jio’s IoT platform.

4. Reliance will offer its cloud services to startups for free: The company would support startups by offering Jio’s cloud technology and connectivity for free, Ambani said. This service will be available to all the startup in the country who register on Jio.com from January 1, 2020.