Saudi Aramco to buy Reliance oil refining stake for US$15B

Tuesday, 13 Aug, 2019

Reliance Jio, country's leading telecom service provider is expected to launch Jio Phone 3 at 42nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Reliance Industries Ltd. More details about these tariffs will be available on Jio.com and the MyJio app on September 5.

In June this year, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that Aramco's IPO is going ahead as planned and is on track for 2020 or 2021.

The cloud services partnership with Microsoft Corp underscores Ambani's ambitions to go toe-to-toe with Amazon, which offers cloud services in India and is also one of the country's biggest online retailers.

In the last AGM of RIL, Ambani announced the high-speed fixed-line broadband services for retail customers.

Ambani said that since its announcement previous year, Jio received over 15 million registrations from almost 1,600 towns.

The move is the latest in a spree of Aramco refinery investments as the company plans to double its processing network to handle as much as 10 million barrels a day by 2030, locking in friendly buyers for the kingdom's crude.

Jio said users will get premium subscriptions of top streaming services bundled with JioFiber plans. Jio has not specified which OTT plans it will offer as yet. However, Jio's broadband pricing is not as aggressive as that of its mobile service. It also plans to offer family plans with data sharing and worldwide roaming at a fraction of a cost. Also, the company will be offering free internet, cloud space and connectivity for the new-age startups.

For businesses, Jio will give easier and cheaper access to blockchain technology all over India, In partnership with Microsoft, Jio would set up a network of large world-class datacenters across India wherein Microsoft will bring its Azure cloud platform.

The Jio GigaTV set-top box also comes with support for 4K gameplay and Reliance claims to have already roped in major game developers like Tencent, Gameloft, Microsoft, and others to have their games available on the platform soon. Unlike most other energy companies, Aramco's output is controlled by the state - the world's biggest oil exporter - and the royalties and taxes it pays underpin the Saudi economy. The strategic effort will aim to enhance the adoption of data analytics, AI, cognitive services, blockchain, Internet of Things, and edge computing among small and medium enterprises.

Consumers will be able to make video calls for free using the set-top box. Aramco signed a letter of intent to take a 20 per cent stake in Reliance's oil-to-chemicals business in one of the largest ever foreign investments in India, Reliance said.

According to Mary Meeker's Internet Trends report, annual data usage of Jio network was between 17-18 exabytes (17 Bn -18 Bn GB) in the financial year 2018, which is nearly two times growth from 9 exabytes data usage in FY 2017.