In one of the largest and fastest ever network rollout operations in the world, Reliance Infocomm has embarked on an ambitious expansion plan to reach out to four lakh villages across the country by the year end, thus bringing about a new revolution in rural telephony.
“On the eve of our nation’s 56th Republic Day, we reiterate our commitment to bridge the digital divide by taking the fruits of the Infocomm revolution to the vast Indian populace, especially those residing in rural India” said Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries Ltd.
The company’s 80,000 km of terabit optic fibre cable network forms the backbone of its countrywide expansion, which will facilitate unlimited and uninterrupted voice, data and video applications.
This massive operation, touching 65 crore Indians, will cover nearly two-third of its villages and over 5,700 cities and towns. This expansion involving 8,500 BTS (Base Transceiver Station) towers will also cover 91% of the country’s national highways and 85% of the rail routes. Eventually, the company’s footprint will cover the entire habitat of the country. This initiative is expected to increase India’s teledensity to 10% by the end of the year, ahead of the national target.
The company has pledged to empower the people of India with freedom to communicate, and fulfill the dream of Dhirubhai Ambani, founder Chairman of the Reliance group, to bring about a digital revolution in India. “Today, India is reaping the benefits of Reliance Infocomm’s foresight of choosing the right technology (CDMA 1X) that brings the whole world to the doorsteps of every Indian,” said Kamal Nanavaty, Chief Operating Officer – Wireless Business, Reliance Infocomm Limited.
Reliance already enjoys over one billion hits a month on its unique infotainment data application suite called R World. This rollout will take the benefits of these services to many more Indians, Nanavati added.
With this expansion, rural India will also have greater access to the Internet, thanks to the increasingly popular R-Connect and is bound to take India on its path towards knowledge-led leadership. It is also an established fact that increase of each point in teledensity results in a 3% growth in the country’s GDP.
Reliance Infocomm has recently become the first Indian telecom service provider to cross the 10-million subscriber mark. As on December 31, 2004, Reliance Infocomm’s subscriber base across its 20 circles stood at 10,298,208, according to the Association of Unified telecom Providers of India (AUSPI).
“This is no mean achievement for a company with less than two years of commercial operation. The Infocomm revolution has just begun and the company has a lot more in store for the country,” Nanavaty added.
This initiative reinforces Reliance Group’s commitment to the Founder Chairman’s vision: “Our dreams have to be bigger. Our ambitions higher. Our commitment deeper. And our efforts greater. This is my dream for Reliance and for India.”