Telecom Towers
Sun rises over the telecommunication towers in New Delhi December 22, 2007 [Representational Image].Reuters

Mukesh Ambani, who owns Reliance Industries, announced Sunday the company's telecom unit would launch fourth-generation (4G) mobile services across India in the second half of the year. He expects Reliance Jio to cover 80 percent of the country's population by end of 2016.

RIL will offer the high-speed broadband services, which Ambani claims is the only telecom company to own 4G bandwidth across the country, through Reliance Jio Infocomm, The Economic Times reports. According to reports, RIL was expected to launch its 4G services in India by April 2016, but it has now been delayed.

By the time of its commercial launch, Jio would have reportedly invested Rs 1 lakh crore in buying spectrum, setting up networks, and marketing and human resources. Jio was officially launched in December 2015 on Reliance Founder's Day — Dhirubhai ambani's birthday. The company has offered its 80,000 staff up to four connections free of cost to test its services, Mint reports.

"We are ready to launch (4G services), and in the second half of 2016, 80 percent of India's population will have high-speed mobile broadband Internet. So, 80 percent of India's 1.3 billion Indians will have high-speed mobile Internet," ET quoted Ambani as saying in an interview to CNN.

"By 2017 end, we would cover 90 percent and by 2018, all of India will be covered by this digital infrastructure," he added.

Mukesh Ambani, who happens to be India's richest man, said the company was making "massive investments" in its telecom foray. He also said any investment in the digital infrastructure sector was a very good investment. In times of global digital revolution, India could not be left behind, he added.

Reliance Jio might aim to gain about 131 million customers by 2019-20 end. It also expects to raise its annual revenue to $6.69 billion (Rs 45,492 crore) by March 2020, it had earlier been reported.

[1 lakh = 100,000 | 1 crore = 10 million | 100 crore = 1 billion]

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