Qualcomm invests in Jio Platforms to support 5G push in India

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NEW DELHI, NNA - Qualcomm Inc. (Qualcomm), a chip industry leader in 5G and wireless technologies, has partnered Jio Platforms Ltd. to build an advanced digital infrastructure for 5G roll-out in India.

Qualcomm Ventures, the investment arm of the U.S. company, is investing 7.3 billion rupees ($97 million) for a 0.15 percent stake in the majority-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL).

Jio Platforms, which provides affordable mobile and digital services across India, has more than 388 million subscribers.

Anticipating Jio Platforms to deliver a new set of services and experiences to Indian consumers, Qualcomm said it will help its partner realize its vision of a Digital India for 1.3 billion people.

In a statement on Sunday, Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm Inc., said, “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 revolutionize India’s digital economy.”

Jio Platforms has built a world-class all-IP data network with the latest 4G LTE technology through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. It can be easily upgraded to support even more data, as technologies advance to 5G, 6G and beyond, said RIL in its statement.

Mukesh Ambani, RIL chairman and managing director, said Qualcomm, which has been "a valued partner for several years" will help Jio Platforms deliver on its 5G vision and digital transformation for people and enterprises in India.

According to local media, RIL has sought permission from the country’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to do lab testing for 5G.

While 5G services in India are yet to be launched, the Ericsson Mobility Report released last month by Swedish telecom gear maker Ericsson said it expects 5G to make up about 18 percent of mobile subscriptions in India by end-2025.

Qualcomm is the world’s leading wireless technology innovator and the driving force behind the development, launch and expansion of 5G.

"With more than $62 billion in cumulative research and development spend, 35 years of innovation and over 140,000 patents and patent applications, Qualcomm is committed to fueling innovation and fostering Indian technology advancement," said Qualcomm's statement.

Qualcomm Ventures is a global fund that invests in pioneering companies across the wireless ecosystem in areas like 5G, artificial intelligence, internet of things, automotive, networking and enterprise.

In India, Qualcomm Ventures has invested in companies that address key domestic issues in sectors like dairy, transportation and defense, and build world-class products for India and the world market.

It noted that Jio Platforms has made significant investments across its digital ecosystem, powered by leading technologies spanning broadband connectivity, smart devices, cloud and edge computing, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, augmented and mixed reality and blockchain.

Jio has also revolutionized the Indian telecom landscape by making voice calls free for customers to any network in India.

Since April 22, it has sold about 25 percent of its shares to big investors such as social media giant Facebook Inc. and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. This has helped RIL to be free of net debt before its targeted date.