Mukesh Ambani plans to connect a billion devices on his IoT platform — and he isn't only talking about light bulbs

Mukesh Ambani plans to connect a billion devices on his IoT platform — and he isn't only talking about light bulbs
Mukesh Ambani during the 42th Annual General Meeting of Reliance IndustriesIANS

  • Mukesh Ambani announced that he plans to connect 1 billion devices using Jio’s IoT network that’s going to launch on 1 January, 2020.
  • For Reliance Jio, it will bring ₹20,000 crore revenue stream.
  • But the bulk of IoT will be driven by industrial applications rather than consumer devices like smart bulbs or air conditioners.
Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries, estimates that India will have at least 2 billion connected devices over the next two years. And, the company’s telecom arm — Reliance Jio — plans to power at least half of them to hone in on the ₹20,000 crore revenue opportunity.

Jio’s IoT network will be a Narrowband Internet of Things (NBIoT) based on the company’s 4G network. The aim is to ensure that data gets from point A to point B in the most reliable way at the lowest possible cost once it launched on 1 January, 2020.

Ambani cited the example of India’s 300 million electricity meters that needs to be connected digitally for real-time monitoring. “Having up to date data by the minute can help consumers have full visibility and control over the cost and quality,” according to Ambani during the Reliance Industries Annual General Meeting.
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Just as Jio will be threatening Jeff Bezos’ Amazon Web Services (AWS) as it partners with Microsoft to bring cloud computing to small and medium businesses, it will also challenging Amazon when it comes to IoT.

It’s not about your light bulb at home

IoT is not all about smart bulbs or air conditioners. In reality, a lot of the communication that happens over IoT is between machines.

In fact, 50% of IoT spending will be driven by enterprise capabilities like manufacturing, transportation, logistics and utilities rather than consumer facing applications, according to Deloitte.

The reason these sectors will primarily push growth is because of their direct association with smart city projects and the Indian governments $1 billion investment to set up a 100 smart cities in the country, according to the World Bank.

In a smart city, typical IoT applications would help manage energy usage, monitor traffic, deliver better public services and even lower the level of pollution.

From the current 60 million IoT devices currently functioning in the country, Deloitte estimates that 32 times more devices — 1.9 billion — will be online by 2020. As a result, the market will also expand from $1.3 billion to $9 billion.

According to an IDC report, half of the businesses in India see IoT as a requirement for staying digitally fit and 60% believe it's essential to keeping a competitive advantage.

While the potential of IoT is huge — it’s not without its challenges. The transfer of data over connected devices brings with concerns of reliability and privacy.

To help with this, the Open Connectivity Foundation recently opening a local chapter in India to help create awareness about global IoT standards.

Even so, it’s important for India to have its own regulations in place so that liability and responsibility can be assessed accordingly in the event of a data breach or cyber attack.

See also:
Reliance Jio Gigafiber launch – Mukesh Ambani’s trump card on the Indian internet space

Reliance Jio fired up as Mukesh Ambani joins hands with Satya Nadella’s Microsoft to challenge Jeff Bezos in India

Highlights of Mukesh Ambani's speech at Reliance Industries AGM and live updates