Reliance Industries reveals major investment strategy but fails to confirm 4G plans

Indian corporation Reliance Industries has revealed plans to invest more than $26 billion across its businesses over the next three years, but failed to shed any more light on the company’s plans for 4G.

Reliance’s telecoms unit, Jio Infocomm, is the only company in India to have nationwide permits for 4G, which it has held for three years with no sign of commercial operability.

Despite telling shareholders the telecoms arm would see its staff numbers almost triple to 10,000 over the next year, Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries and brother of industry tycoon Anil Ambani, still has not provided a launch date for the 4G services.

“Let me assure sceptics that my continued optimism is based on the significant strides that we at Reliance have taken in the past year, towards engineering and testing a world-class broadband network, and in developing a suite of compelling and synergistic digital services," he said.

Ambani said he was in the “optimistic minority” with regard to the country’s digital strategy, and announced that Reliance Jio Infocomm had identified vendors and suppliers for the deployment.

“Together with our partners, we have chartered an ambitious plan for the next 12 months, and we at Reliance Jio foresee making rapid progress over this period towards launching our services across India,” he said.

“By the time we meet next year, I will report on the specifics of the substantial progress that we would have made.”

The announcement follows reports earlier this year that the company was expecting to spend up to $27 billion on investment in the business by 2017.