Qualcomm Ventures, Jio Platforms

Jio Platforms gears up for 5G launch with new investor

13 July 2020 | Melanie Mingas

Cover

Qualcomm Ventures, the investment arm of Qualcomm Incorporated, has taken a 1.5% equity stake in Jio Platforms for US$97 million as the Indian telco looks to advance 5G services.

A joint statement confirmed the investment would be channelled to “deepen the ties between Qualcomm and Jio Platforms, to support Jio Platforms on its journey to rollout advanced 5G infrastructure and services for Indian customers”.

Steve Mollenkopf (pictured), CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated, said: “With our shared goal of extending the benefits of digital connectivity to everyone and everything, we anticipate Jio Platforms will deliver a new set of services and experiences to Indian consumers.

“With unmatched speeds and emerging use cases, 5G is expected to transform every industry in the coming years. Jio Platforms has led the digital revolution in India through its extensive digital and technological capabilities. As an enabler and investor with a longstanding presence in India, we look forward to playing a role in Jio's vision to further revolutionise India’s digital economy.”

India’s 5G journey has been a long and winding road to date.

In January, Jio – along with India’s other mobile operators – missed a deadline for government-backed 5G trials. At the time Rajan Mathews, director general of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), told Times of India that mobile companies had not even decided how much longer they wanted.

The project received a boost in February when US president Donald Trump held talks with India’s prime minister Narendra Modi, however, in May it was confirmed the country would postpone 4G and 5G spectrum auctions originally scheduled for this financial year.

According to reports, India’s 5G equipment will be provided by Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia and Samsung.

Mukesh Ambani, chair and MD of Reliance Industries, said: “Today, I am delighted to welcome Qualcomm Ventures as an investor in Jio Platforms. Qualcomm has been a valued partner for several years and we have a shared vision of connecting everything by building a robust and secure wireless and digital network and extending the benefits of digital connectivity to everyone in India.

“As a world leader in wireless technologies, Qualcomm offers deep technology knowhow and insights that will help us deliver on our 5G vision and the digital transformation of India for both people and enterprises,” Ambani added.