Reliance Communications
Press Release
 

December 27, 2002

Reliance Infocomm Ushers a Digital Revolution In India

The Reliance Group, India's largest private sector enterprise and one of the 500 largest enterprises in the world, will launch Reliance Infocomm Limited on December 28, 2002. Reliance Infocomm will usher a digital revolution in India and herald a New Way of Life for a New India.

The date of the launch commemorates the birthday of late Dhirubhai Ambani, the Founder Chairman of the Reliance Group. His dream of harnessing the power of information technology and communications to build a New India is the seedling that has grown into Reliance Infocomm.

The Network

To make this dream a reality, Reliance Infocomm, under the leadership of Mukesh Ambani, has created an overarching digital infrastructure using state-of-the-art technology on the strength of a 60,000 kilometre terabit capacity optic fibre network covering over 600 cities.

Commenting on the network, Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries Limited, said, "The architecture and functionality of this network is dynamic to keep pace with the evolution of technology in the future"

The goal of Reliance Infocomm is to progressively expand its optic fibre network and eventually cover 116,000 km, with the ability to seamlessly connect every individual, home, and office in all 640,000 villages and 2,500 towns and cities of India.

Dhirubhai's Vision

Dhirubhai Ambani dreamt of a New Way of Life for a New India. Reliance Infocomm is being launched to make this dream a fact of life for every Indian.

The son of a schoolteacher in a remote village, Dhirubhai Ambani founded Reliance Industries Limited with courage, creativity and commitment as his principal assets. Within a span of 27 years, he shaped it into a Rs 65,000 crore (USD 13.5 billion) group. Today, the business activities of Reliance cover oil and gas, petroleum refining, petrochemicals, plastics, polyester, textiles, financial services and infrastructure.

In the process of building Reliance, he ushered in an equity revolution in India. He democratised the process of wealth creation by endowing 3.3 million investors, and earned for Reliance the distinction of being the world's second-largest manufacturer of polyester. Reliance also became the world's eleventh-largest producer of plastics, and an operator of the world's fifth-largest petroleum refinery.

With amazing foresight, he sensed the incredible potential of the technological revolution sweeping the globe, in the areas of information and communication. He conceived of Reliance Infocomm as a means to bring a technological revolution to this country and usher in a digital revolution in India. He visualized Reliance Infocomm as a powerful vehicle to percolate the benefits of the knowledge era to all sections of society.

He fashioned a strategy, which was conceptually simple and sweeping in its impact. He encouraged the Reliance Infocomm team to look for the best technology in the world and use it to reduce the cost to the consumer.

Dhirubhai Ambani envisioned an all-encompassing and affordable information and communications infrastructure to fashion a new society by building communities with shared interests and values, and empowering people by overcoming the handicaps of illiteracy and mobility. He visualised the ability of information technology to deliver new means for enlightening, entertaining and enriching people; and making livelihood an enjoyment, learning an experience, and living an excitement.

This vision signaled a sweeping revolution for a New Way of Life for a New India. Reliance Infocomm therefore, is an instrument for accomplishing this revolution.

Reliance Infocomm Initiative

Recognising that Dhirubhai Ambani's vision of a New Way of Life for a New India will become a massive material force when it grips millions of men and women, Reliance Infocomm is executing the entire project as a comprehensive, unprecedented partnership between authorities, people and businesses. This partnership is already in action. It began with the unveiling a new telecom policy and the Government has empowered 18 state governments, 7,000 municipal authorities, thousands of young professionals, engineers and workers.

Proceeding in the same partnership mode, Reliance Infocomm will bring out the convergence of information and communications to energise enterprises by opening up new paths for profitable ventures, facilitating outsourcing of businesses and making transactions efficient. This overarching infocomm architecture will galvanise governance by making records easily accessible, services rendered efficiently and processes made seamless and efficient. All this will make Infocomm a means to empower and enlighten every individual, home, and office.

According to Mukesh Ambani, "Reliance Infocomm will ensure that by 2003, India has the most modern information and communication infrastructure in the world. An infrastructure for connecting citizens, networking communities, improving the quality of life, building intellectual capital, enhancing productivity, creating new businesses, building partnerships, and, above all, for taking India to global leadership in the knowledge era."

Reliance Infocomm Services

Reliance Infocomm will offer revolutionary, data, video and value-added services at a cost affordable by all, in the largest and most complex rollout in the history of the information technology and communication sector worldwide.

Reliance Infocomm is ready to start services in three concrete phases:

First, with a mobile revolution, in the form of the Reliance IndiaMobile service through a nationwide wireless network that will reach out to 90% of India's population and eventually to every Indian. This revolution will enable every individual talk, learn, shop, bank, transact, entertain and be informed, while on the move.

Second, in mid 2003, with an enterprise netway revolution by providing 100 mbps Ethernet links to every desktop and device to half a million enterprise buildings initially and eventually to 10 million buildings. This revolution will empower every enterprise by making transactions efficient, functions seamless and new economic opportunities abundant.

Third, in end 2003, with a consumer convergence revolution by providing high speed Ethernet links to 80 million homes initially and eventually to every home. This revolution will enlighten every home with an entire range of television channels, high-speed telephony, audio conferencing, videoconferencing and video on demand.

Reliance IndiaMobile Service

Reliance IndiaMobile service will revolutionalise the consumer mobile experience by offering a host of applications on the mobile phone such as enhanced messaging in Indian languages, email access, Internet surfing, access to real time political, financial and sports news, games and video streaming. This will enable users to send text messages in Indian languages, access their email and other Internet accounts, surf the net at speeds of up to 144 kbps, be the first to get breaking news, view and listen to scenes from the latest movies and experience many other exciting applications.

The Reliance IndiaMobile service will be available only on CDMA 2000 1X handsets specially imported by Reliance. These are light, sleek, Java enabled, multi-media ready phones with polyphonic sound and with features like 3-way conferencing, call forwarding, in-built phonebook memory, special lifestyle features such as organizers, calendars, world clock and lithium ion battery for long talk time. Premium handsets have a colour screen and PC synchronization support. All handsets and in-box accessories will be home delivered free of cost, have a 12-month warranty and are covered by insurance, absolutely free, for a period of 3 years.

The Reliance IndiaMobile service will offer an incredible value proposition to users with abundant minutes for a limited spend, long distance calls to any phone in the country at low rates, a pan- India presence, superior voice quality and data capabilities, state-of-the-art handsets, 24 hour high speed Internet access and a host of unique applications.

There will be three schemes on offer. The 'Dhirubhai Ambani Pioneer Offer' provides the best value proposition. This is being offered in memory of our beloved Chairman.

Pioneer Offer

The Dhirubhai Ambani Pioneer Offer will be open for pioneer subscribers with an unbeatable proposition that includes one free digital mobile phone, unlimited free incoming calls, 15 second pulse rate, abundant minutes for a limited spend that include all local calls, all state long distance calls and long distance calls to any Reliance phone in the country. Within the plan, the cost of a STD call is 40 paise a minute and that of a short call up to 15 seconds is only 10 paise. The scheme also allows for exchange of current mobile handset, a suite of data applications initially at no content charge and discount coupons for various products and services from the most popular retailers.

All the value added services are offered free. These cover a regular voice-mail service, call waiting, call hold, call divert, call conferencing, caller line identification, caller line identification restriction, dynamic STD/ ISD locking and text messaging.

This scheme fulfils Dhirubhai Ambani's dream of enabling subscribers to communicate at a cost that is less than the price of a postcard.

The pricing system is in line with Dhirubhai Ambani's dream and directive of making phone calls affordable for every Indian, and has been possible due to the significant capital productivity achieved on the strength of Reliance's proven track record in project management.

The Pioneer scheme of Reliance IndiaMobile service has a modest upfront payment and monthly payments for three years, covering rental, usage charges, club privileges and plan financing charges. Users of this scheme will also have the option of paying the entire amount upfront and thereby saving financing charges.

The 'Regular' scheme of Reliance IndiaMobile service is an upfront payment plan, which covers only talk time.

The 'Standard' plan of the Reliance IndiaMobile service is a monthly payment plan.

Dhirubhai Ambani Entrepreneur Programme

As a tribute to Dhirubhai Ambani, the acknowledged icon of a new entrepreneurial wave in India, Reliance Infocomm will foster a new breed of entrepreneurs, an unparalleled event in the history of Indian enterprise.

The Dhirubhai Ambani Entrepreneur Programme begins with enrollment of 200,000 individuals who are committed to acquiring new customers and creating a new experience for them, based on flawless service and feelings of satisfaction. They will be guided and supported by 900 Reliance executives across the country.

Dhirubhai Ambani Developer Programme

The Dhirubhai Ambani Developer Programme will create a new platform for innovations in information technology. One thousand developers of software solutions are being enrolled now to eventually grow to 100,000 developers by December 2003. These Dhirubhai Ambani Developers will convert ideas into products without having to worry about resources. Reliance Infocomm will provide the infrastructure, unlimited access to comprehensive technical documentation and support and offer special rate plans designed for the developer community.

These two programmes are a tribute to Dhirubhai Ambani's conviction that the best way a business can contribute to society is by encouraging other enterprises, and creating economic opportunities for millions of young Indians.

Dhirubhai Ambani Knowledge City

The headquarters for all these services, programmes and operations of Reliance Infocomm is located in the Dhirubhai Ambani Knowledge City, a brand new and modern campus built on a 140-acre site in Navi Mumbai, conceived by Nita Ambani, President of the Dhirubhai Ambani Foundation. The campus hosts a national operations center, applications development laboratories, data centers, and contact centers, spread over 2.2 million square feet of office space.

Digital Revolution

Reliance Infocomm will provide knowledge workers a platform to develop and offer technology solutions for all professions and institutions across the world. It will catalyse India's formidable software talent to develop products for the global market, and realize substantially higher value for their efforts.

Reliance Infocomm, by the end of 2003, will have unleashed a self-sustaining economic revolution in India. A digital revolution for a New Way of Life for a New India.

Reliance Infocomm will transform the way India communicates with and connects to the rest of the world. The way each and every citizen of India talks over the phone, sends messages, listens to music, news, views, videos, receives and uses information, connects to the Internet, while on the move. The way in which the young and the old learn, work, shop, bank, and form associations. The way companies transact business and provide services to customers.

"With an 'every time, every place, every device' network ethos, a sweeping span of services and a new breed of entrepreneurs, Reliance Infocomm will prepare India to take on the mantle of leadership in the knowledge age", says Mukesh Ambani, reflecting on the goals of this major initiative.

 
 
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