Reliance Industries will start offering 4G telecom services next year and unveiled a Rs 1.8 lakh crore investment plan across businesses aimed at catapulting it into the top 50 companies of the world.
About five years after buying out Infotel Broadband Services within hours of the firm winning nationwide wireless broadband licenses, RIL will start wireless-broadband services in 5,000 cities and 2,15,000 villages in 2015, Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani said here today.
The company, which returned to the telecom sector in 2010 with the Rs 4,800 crore acquisition of Infotel, is investing Rs 70,000 crore in the business that will eventually span each of India's more than 6,00,000 villages.
Addressing the annual shareholders meeting of the company, which also operates the world's largest crude oil refining complex, Ambani, the world's richest energy billionaire, unveiled his vision to achieve in the next three years what the firm had done in 37 years of its listed history.
RIL will invest Rs 1.8 lakh crore in margin-enhancing petrochem units, expansion of the energy business, opening more retail stores and the rollout of the telecom venture.
The firm plans to use fourth-generation technology called long-term evolution, or LTE, to offer wireless broadband services. This, Ambani said, will help India become a leader in the digital era.
"They would ensure that every Indian has access to state-of-the-art digital connectivity and services that are on par with or better than anywhere else in the world." With his mother Kokila Ambani, wife Nita Ambani and children watching, he said RIL, which is currently ranked 135 on the Fortune 500 list of global companies, is looking at breaking into the top 50.
At the AGM, Nita Ambani was inducted into the company board as the first woman director, thereby meeting a new law requiring listed companies to have at least one woman in the boardroom to boost gender diversity.