Mubadala Of Abu Dhabi Is In Talks On $1 Bn Stake In Jio Platforms: Sources- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala is in talks with Reliance Industries (RELI.NS) about investing around $1 billion in the Indian conglomerate’s Jio platforms, three sources told Reuters.
“Clearly Jio’s platform is attracting a wide range of world-class investors, given its enormous potential to serve one of the world’s largest marketplaces,” Mubadala said in an email, without confirming whether or not talks were taking place.
Due diligence on a potential transaction with Reliance was already underway, one of the sources said.
If it goes ahead, the Jio Platforms investment would be the largest in an Indian firm by Mubadala, which is the second-biggest state investor in Abu Dhabi after Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), managing about $240 billion in assets.
Reliance and Twitter did not respond.
Jio Platforms has so far already agreed to sell a combined stake of just over 17% through five separate deals with Facebook (FB.O), which spent $5.7 billion on 9.99%, the first to announce its investment in April.
While talks may be taking place with multiple parties, deals may not necessarily materialize and any terms may change, a fourth source, who is familiar with Reliance’s strategy, said.
All four sources declined to be identified because the talks are private.
Reliance plans to wrap up a bulk of the private fundraising by the third quarter of 2020 and then explore a potential public listing in the United States in 2021, one of the sources said.
Both Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and Goldman Sachs (GS.N) are in talks with Reliance about a possible Jio Platforms IPO mandate, the source added.
Reliance executives visited the United States in February to meet potential investors and bankers and it was looking for a valuation of $90 billion to $95 billion, the source said.
However, the source familiar with Reliance’s strategy said that an overseas listing could still be a long way off and that the company had no immediate need for funds after the recent investments in Jio Platforms.
Before making any decision Reliance would also need to have clarity on rules governing direct overseas listings for Indian companies, which are still being formulated by the government.
Global tech firms prefer listing in the U.S. as it provides companies with greater liquidity and wider access to capital.
Such a deal would help boost Jio Platform’s credentials and provide an exit for some of the big investors that have agreed to invest in it, including private equity firms KKR (KKR.N), General Atlantic, Silver Lake and Vista Equity Partners.
India’s Mint newspaper reported on Thursday that Microsoft is also in talks to buy 2.5% of Jio Platforms for $2 billion.
Talks between Reliance and Microsoft had been on since the two companies announced a cloud computing tie-up last year, a fifth source told Reuters.
Reliance is looking to sell roughly 20% of Jio Platforms through all the private placement deals, the source added.
Morgan Stanley declined to comment, while Microsoft, Goldman Sachs did not respond to requests for comment.

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Reliance Jio’s Latest Valuation And All You Need To Know About General Atlantic’s Deal With Jio- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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General Atlantic, a US-based firm, has invested INR. 6,598.38 crores ($870 million) in Jio platforms, in exchange for a 1.34 percent stake. Over the past few months, Facebook, Silver Lake and Vista group have invested more than $8 billion in Jio, by picking up 9.9 percent, 1 percent and 2.32 percent of stakes respectively. With this new investment, Jio Platforms is being valued at $9 billion. 
CEO of General Atlantic, Bill Ford said that ‘the firm shares Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani’s conviction that digital connectivity that the potential to accelerate the Indian economy significantly.’
He continued saying that as long term backers of global technology leaders and visionary entrepreneurs, they could not be more excited about investing in Jio. He continued saying that General Atlantic shares Ambani’s convection  that digital connectivity has the potential to accelerate the Indian economy significantly, and also drive growth across the country. He even said that General Atlantic has a long track record of working alongside founders to scale disruptive business, since Jio is doing at the forefront of India’s digital revolution.
Other investments of General Atlantic include Airbnb, Alibaba, Ant Financial, Box, ByteDance, Duolingo, Facebook, Slack, Snapchat and Uber. General Atlantic has invested in edtech firms Byjus’ and Unacademy and real estate platform NoBroker in India. 
This is their latest announcement on their official page

GA is investing $875 million in Jio Platforms, India’s leading digital services platform. We are excited to partner with the Jio team to help scale wireless connectivity and accelerate digital growth across #India #DrivingGlobalGrowth https://t.co/ewh9d08nMD pic.twitter.com/2Qz54cO5sT
— General Atlantic (@generalatlantic) May 17, 2020

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Reliance Announces Rs. 6598 Crores Funding to Jio By General Atlantic
This deal was being announced late Sunday and has broadened backing for Jio’s plan to use its almost 400 million mobile phone subscribers as a base for e-commerce drive that would shake up India’s vast consumer base from retail to education and payments. 
Akash Ambani, director of Reliance Jio and son to Chairman Mukesh Ambani’s son, said that Reliance Jio is delighted that a renowned global investor like General Atlantic is partnering with Jio in its journey to digitally empower India and Indians. 
Reliance Platforms was formed by Mukesh Ambani, that combined the conglomerate’s digital apps and wireless carrier, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., into a holding company. Reports state that Mukesh Ambani is also seeking to raise around $7 billion selling shares to existing holders as part of a drive to build confidence in his oil, telecommunications and retail conglomerate. 
Additionally, Jio’s plans have also put it into a direct competition with other giants like Amazon Inc, and Walmart Inc. Also, Facebook is working to integrate Jio’s e-commerce business, JioMart into its WhatsApp messaging application in India. 

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Reliance announces Rs 6598 crores funding to Jio by General Atlantic- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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Reliance Industries on Sunday announced US fund General Atlantic will invest Rs. 6,598 crores ($870 million) in Jio Platforms, a fourth deal that takes investment in its digital unit to over $8 billion in less than a month. General Atlantic will pick up a 1.34 percent stake in Jio Platforms which includes movies, music apps as wells telecoms venture Jio Infocomm. The deal puts Jio Platform’s equity value at Rs. 4.91 lakh crores and gives it an enterprise value of Rs. 5.16 lakh crores, Reliance said in a statement.
Reliance, controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, last month forged a Rs. 43,574 crores deal with Facebook for a 9.99 percent stake in Jio Platforms.
Days later it secured a Rs. 5,656 crores investment from private equity firm Silver Lake.
The deals, along with Reliance’s plan to sell $7 billion (roughly Rs. 53,100 crores) in new shares, will help the Mumbai-based oil-to-telecoms giant meet its target of eliminating $21.4 billion (roughly Rs. 1.62 lakh crores) in net debt this year.
They also underscore the strength of a digital business that Ambani has built over the past four years in an effort to diversify Reliance way from petrochemicals and refining.
Ambani, Asia’s richest man, launched the Jio telecoms venture in late 2016, driving several rivals out of the market and pushing others to consolidate.
He’s often said “data is the new oil”.
He has pitched Jio as a tech company with capabilities to build smart homes, making it a possible rival to Amazon’s Alexa-based solutions, connected cars and security systems.
On Sunday, Reliance Chairman Ambani said: “We are excited to leverage General Atlantic’s proven global expertise and strategic insights across 40 years of technology investing for the benefit of Jio.”

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Facebook’s alliance with Jio will help it unlock India- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Facebook’s recent $5.7 billion investment in Indian telecommunications behemoth Jio Platforms goes beyond the typical tech deal and will help the American social media titan finally unlock the world’s biggest democracy.
On the surface, it’s an e-commerce deal that aims to deliver incremental benefits such as better choice, faster deliveries and lower prices to entice consumers to buy more. But at a deeper level, the core of the Facebook-Jio alliance is about accelerating India’s digital vision to change the lives of all Indians for the better, according to the companies.
Their ultimate purpose is to uplift the lives of all Indian’s to live better lives and plan to better access to education, healthcare and the ability to transact digitally when it comes to daily needs, with a particular focus on rural populations and micro, small and medium enterprises. And this can happen through services like Whatsapp Pay, which has struggled to take off on time, and the growing JioMart.
“What is most exciting is the size and scale at which the alliance can drive progress for a consumer class that has been largely ignored and massively underserved in so many ways for generations,” observes Jehan Leanage, executive director of business transformation for Asia Pacific at R/GA.
“Put in context, India’s 66% rural population means they have 890 million people underserved, which this partnership is trying to address. When you view this opportunity through this lens, you start to get a sense of how this might translate into an attractive growth opportunity for Facebook.”
Facebook has always been clear about its long term plans to acquire its next billion users. They have launched initiatives like Facebook Aquila and internet.org to provide Internet access to remote areas, but both fell short.
Even with 630 million users, India’s mobile penetration rate is currently at about 30%. And with data costs falling by 95% since 2013, rates are expected to rise to 750-800 million users by 2023.
As Facebook gears up to connect the next billion people, they expect 70% to come from Asia and nearly 337m from India alone, which clearly shows why it is such a strategic market for the social networking giant.
Led by Mukesh Ambani, the richest man in Asia, Jio has played and continues to play a role in driving mobile penetration rates in India. It is by far the largest player in the market with a huge customer database and dominance in related consumer spaces such as retail, entertainment, and even social.
As Ambani is a big believer in technology as a driver of human development and that anything that can go digital will go digital, Jio will play a pivotal role in helping Facebook’s reach its ambition.
“Facebook has been seeking opportunities to monetise WhatsApp since acquiring it in 2014. The platform that now has over 1.5bn users worldwide announced a controversial plan to incorporate ads into the app in 2014. However, earlier this January, WhatsApp management decided to back away from plans to move this forward,” explains Leanage.
“In their relentless pursuits, they have found a better pathway to monetisation. WhatsApp Business, which enables enterprises of all sizes to connect with and sell to consumers, through a paid service, which gives them access to customer engagement, relationship management and sales tools.”
He adds: “Last year, Facebook announced that they had successfully launched the service and had acquired 5m active business users. This number is dwarfed in comparison to Ambani’s plan to introduce 30m small grocery stores to its e-commerce platform JioMart in the short-medium term. As Facebook looks to scale its WhatsApp Business platform globally, the size of the opportunity the Indian market represents is staggering.”
Ultimately, for Facebook, all initiatives ultimately need to collect valuable consumer data that it needs to power their advertising engine, which generates 98% of its revenue.
Leanage says it is a given that Facebook knows a lot about a person. However extensive their data set may be, it could not tell that person about their purchasing patterns. Facebook has desperately tried to fill this gap with services like Instagram Shop or other shopping features, though they have not reached a level of scale that is needed to be attractive to advertisers.
“This partnership for the first time enables Facebook to feed their Knowledge Graph with the ‘holy grail’ of marketing data, purchasing habits and well payments, and with the ability to execute at a scale that they have never done before,” he explains.
“This level of data collection could be a potential game-changer for the social networking company. It will make the platform so much more desirable in the eyes of marketers who will no doubt pay a premium to access that information.”
How Facebook-Jio will take on Amazon and Walmart
For the longest time, Indian e-commerce has largely been dominated by Amazon and Walmart-backed Flipkart, which controls just over 62% of the market split almost evenly. Now, the Facebook-Jio partnership introduces a formidable third force into the mix.
In the long run, this alliance will counter the growth of Amazon and Flipkart, but it could completely disrupt the way e-commerce is run in the world’s largest democracy.
Enabling rural Indian commerce means both Jio and Facebook will have unparalleled insights into purchasing habits, needs and challenges of an entirely new consumer class the world of e-commerce has known least about until now.
Facebook currently has 400m WhatsApp users in India and JioMart has 388m customers of its own. However, Facebook’s plans for WhatsApp Pay has been in development for over two years, as reports suggested that issues that led to delay were tied to compliance and data processing regulations that prevented a move beyond the initial experimental phase.
It was only in February 2020 that Facebook had been given permission to pilot with up to 10m users. Approval for the rollout of the service has been set for end-May in partnership with three banks, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank. It was also reported that the State Bank of India would join at a later stage.
As Jio plays a key part in accelerating India’s digital vision, Indian regulators are more likely to view any collaborations they enter into that drive the national vision forward positively.
That means through JioMart, Facebook is likely to get access to India’s massively unregulated and informal retail segment as India has over 30 million ‘Kirana’ (neighbourhood) stores and JioMart, in partnership with Whatsapp, could help digitize these neighbourhood stores by providing them with a digital storefront as well as a mechanism to collect digital payments via WhatsApp Pay.
It would give millions of small business owners a chance to enter the formal economy and modernize their businesses and compete against large, foreign e-commerce behemoths like Amazon and Walmart, a narrative that is likely to sit well with the local and national politicians.
“The partnership would give JioMart a customer acquisition and communication channel through Whatsapp’s 400m users and allow WhatsApp to finally legitimize and monetize its payment product in India, after the false start it had a couple of years ago, says Prantik Mazumdar, the managing partner at Dentsu Aegis Network’s Happy Marketer.
“The joint play is a perfect avenue for Ambani to realize his ambition of becoming ‘India’s Jack Ma’ if he is able to leverage this relationship to potentially create a super app and become India’s Alibaba and monetize the billions that he has bankrolled to setup Jio’s telecom infrastructure and acquire customers through low-cost data plans.”
Leanage agrees, noting that Jio’s proposed strategy and model seems quite similar to Alibaba in China, where they, on one hand, play an enabler role to grow small businesses and on the other enable all consumers (rural and urban) consumers to transact digitally.
He says the biggest threat the incumbents face is the lack of control it has when it comes to influencing a customer’s pre-purchase journey. In contrast, the alliance has a massive edge when it comes to data, which they can use to influence and control a consumer’s purchasing journey, long before a need to purchase has even begun. And they will use this to lure customers away from the incumbents.
“The alliance also has an edge when it comes to integrating online and offline commerce onto a connected ecosystem. This would essentially allow customers to shop across channels but still be within the ecosystem, so receive one consistent experience. This leads to a level of lock-in that will make it hard for the incumbents to compete against,” he adds.
“The partnership has the potential to create massive problems for incumbent players in India unless they find a way to respond to and counter threats. Which could mean they need to rethink and reevaluate their business model.”
A bigger walled garden?
Dr. Kushal Sanghvi, the India lead at Integral Ad Science argues that the overall Facebook-Jio deal is all about combining forces of their data and creating interesting models for advertisers and also creating a new offering for the media planners in the duopoly market that they most often buy into.
Facebook and Jio will together also have access to vast troves of personal information, even as India is yet to finalise a personal data protection law.
“News reports already point to Jio’s plans of creating a super-app along with Facebook, which could also result in the creation of an ecosystem of apps and more advertising opportunities too,” he explains.
“There may be many more benefits on data transfer, which may impact innovation, and therefore, sufficient regulatory scrutiny will be needed to ensure that the conditions are made available to other third parties.”
Poran Malani, the director of S4 Capital in India thinks this will be a two-way street as Jio has a huge amount of data but Facebook knows how consumers behave. He feels having access to the analysis of behaviour will help grow and model the untapped markets.
“The telecom rivalry in India is supplemented by a larger rivalry of big tech companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Google also trying to establish a lead in tapping the biggest open market for Internet users,” he explains.
“While the B2C market of advertising directly to users has its limitations, both in terms of the business that can be tracked and the personal information of users that can be shared, a B2B approach through small and medium businesses will give tech companies access to hyperlocal behavioural patterns across the country.”
He continues: “Google has an existing investment in hyperlocal delivery startup Dunzo. Its attempt at mapping hyperlocal activity through Neighbourly didn’t quite take off with the app shutting shop last month.”
The most important benefit of Facebook’s walled garden of data is going to come from the ban on cookies by major browsers as Jio will not be as able to track customers through their digital properties, points out Kunal Bhatia, the regional delivery director and head of product at Publicis Sapient.
“However, Facebook and Facebook ads can support and provide some data. Jio is doing really well in the current Covid-19 scenario, access to further data and ad capabilities will help to boost its reach, and will provide Facebook with further data to support its growth,” he explains.
If this symbiotic partnership fuelling commerce, communication, and payment take off, this could create a massive data play for both entities and one that could be synergized and monetized collectively, suggests Mazumdar.
“Facebook would continue to collect massive sets of data around user demography, content consumption, purchase intent, transaction data and purchasing power,” he explains.
“This, coupled with location data from Jio, could become a powerful data play for both parties to monetize via ad tech within Facebook’s walled garden and allow Facebook to rapidly scale up its ad revenues in India from the current base of approximately US$290m, about a third of Google’s ad revenues in the country.”
The battle for everyone as the world comes out of the Covid-19 crisis will not be about size alone, but will be about relevance, and interpreting the knowledge that best meets the needs of the consumers and brands.
Facebook and Jio will have to seamlessly integrate to make their alliance work, as it is not a merger, but one company taking a stake in the other. Amazon, Google and Walmart will have to fight the same battle of relevance and understanding if they want to compete.
That said, the large war chest, market access and the political clout that the Facebook-Jio partnership brings to the table will be a massive big wake up call for Amazon, Google and Walmart as they will also need to dig deep into their reserves and find suitable allies if they want to fight the Facebook-Jio alliance.

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Facebook Likely To Acquire 10 Percent Stake in Reliance Jio- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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As per reports, Facebook is likely to acquire a stake in Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm, as per a national publication. The report said that social media giant, Facebook was about to close to an initial agreement to pick up a 10 percent stake. However, discussions hadn’t really moved forward, due to the global disruption of the Covid-19 outbreak. 
According to the national publication, Google had been talking to Jio separately. Last year, Microsoft had said that last year it would be providing cloud computing services to businesses with Jio. It’s not a secret that India is the biggest market for Facebook with around 328 million monthly users; additionally, Facebook-owned WhatsApp messaging app has around 400 million users in India. 
At present, Reliance Jio commands a subscriber base of 370 million in India. Renowned analysts at Bernstein say that Reliance Jio’s valuation is more than $60 billion now. Operations at Reliance Jio first began in September 2016. When it first began, Jio had started a price war in the Indian telecom sector by offering 4G at very cheap rates and voice calls free of charge. Surprisingly, now, when the AGR crisis has the telecom sector on edge, seems that Jio is in a good spot.
Read:
WHO Partners Microsoft, Facebook For Global #BuildforCovid19 Hackathon
Also, Reliance Industries has been on the lookout to become a net-debt zero company. Reliance Jio has joined hands with Microsoft to offer cloud computing services to businesses.Also, Google has been holding talks with Reliance Jio, as per the national publication. 
Last year, Reliance Industries announced plans to reconstitute Jio into a separate firm – an umbrella body for all digital businesses under the conglomerate, and also list it in the market. If this happens, then RIL would be infusing INR. 1.08 lakh crore in Jio through a rights issue. 

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Reliance Jio offering free broadband data!- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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Reliance Jio on Monday said it will offer free broadband service to new customers and doubled data limit for all existing customers to support work from home in fight against coronavirus.
The company has also doubled data limits for top-up voucher and bundle-free calling minutes to non-Jio networks in these vouchers.
“To ensure that everyone stays connected while at home, Jio will provide Basic JioFiber broadband connectivity (10 Mbps), wherever it is geographically feasible, without any service charges, for this (coronavirus) period,” Reliance Industries Ltd said in a statement.
JioFibre broadband customers are required to pay Rs 2,500 at the time of installation. Of which, Rs 1,500 is refundable at the time of surrendering the connection.
“Jio will also provide home gateway routers with a minimum refundable deposit,” the company said.
The company has started offering double data across its 4G data add-on vouchers which will also bundle non-Jio voice calling minutes in these vouchers at no additional costs.
“As its ongoing commitment, Jio is ensuring that its mobility services are up and running at all times with the deployment of essential teams on rotation round the clock across the country,” the statement said.
State-owned telecom companies BSNL and MTNL took lead last week to announce free broadband plans and additional data for their customers to support work from home.

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‘Lower 5G Spectrum Prices’, Say Vodafone Idea, Reliance Jio, And Bharti Airtel- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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Major telecom service providers in India have asked for lowering 5G spectrum prices stating that the prices are overpriced which would not help the ‘Digital India’ mission. The telecom providers pitching for this move are Vodafone Idea, Reliance Jio, and Bharti Airtel. 
The price reduction has been called for the 5G band of 3.3-3.6GHz and 700MHz. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)’s chairman R.S Sharma expressed his opinion that the base price of the 5G spectrum had been suggested after receiving industry feedback. However, this was unanimously rejected by Vodafone Idea, Reliance Jio, and Bharti Airtel. 
The suggestions made by Sharma about the pricing of the spectrum were decided after industry feedback, claims TRAI. Towards the end of 2019, IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad brought up the topic of 5G technology in the Rajya Sabha and stressed upon finalizing a framework for this spectrum. 
There was also a mention of allowing trials of 5G services in the first quarter of 2020, which is January to March. There have been 12 applications received by the Government to conduct the trials, however, there are no updates on it yet. Huawei will also be participating in 5G trials in India despite the tussle between US-China. 

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India’s Reliance Jio inks deal with Microsoft to expand Office 365, Azure to more businesses; unveils broadband, blockchain, and IoT platforms


India’s Reliance Jio, which has disrupted the local telecom and features phone businesses in less than three years of existence, is now ready to aggressively foray into many more businesses with the help of global giants including Microsoft.

In a series of announcements, the subsidiary of India’s largest industrial house Reliance Industries today said it will commercially launch its fiber-optic broadband business next month, an IoT platform on January 1, 2020, and “one of the world’s biggest blockchain networks” in the next 12 months.

The broadband service, called Jio Giga Fiber, is aimed at individual customers, small and medium sized businesses, as well as enterprises, Mukhesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries, said at a shareholders meeting Monday. The service, which will be available starting September 5, will offer free voice calls, high-speed internet and start at Rs 700 per month.

Continuing its tradition to woo users with significant offers, Jio said customers who opt for the yearly-plan of Giga Fiber will be provided with the set top box and a HD TV at no charge.

Partnership with Microsoft

The company also announced a 10-year partnership with Microsoft to leverage the Redmond giant’s Azure, Microsoft 365, and Microsoft AI platforms to launch new cloud datacenters in India to ensure “more of Jio’s customers can access the tools and platforms they need to build their own digital capability,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in a video appearance Monday.

“At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Core to this mission is deep partnerships, like the one we are announcing today with Reliance Jio. Our ambition is to help millions of organizations across India thrive and grow in the era of rapid technological change…”

“Together, we will offer a comprehensive technology solution, from compute to storage, to connectivity and productivity for small and medium-sized businesses everywhere in the country,” he added.

As part of the partnership, Nadella said, Jio and Microsoft will jointly offer Office 365 to more organizations in India, and also bring Azure Cognitive Services to more devices and in many Indian languages to businesses in the country. The solutions will be “accessible” to reach as many people and organizations in India as possible, he added.

The first two data-centers will be set up in Gujarat and Maharashtra by next year. Jio will migrate all of its non-networking apps to Microsoft Azure platform and promote its adoption among its ecosystem of startups, the two said in a joint statement.

Ambani also said Jio is working on a “digital stack” to create a new commerce partnership platform in India to reach tens of millions of merchants, consumers, and producers.

The announcement comes weeks after Reliance Industries acquired majority stake in Fynd, a Mumbai-based startup that connects brick and mortar retailers with online stores and consumers, for $42.3 million.

More to follow…


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