Jio connects up $2.2 bln funding from Swedish Export Credit Agency (EKN) for 5G gear buy

Jio connects up $2.2 bln funding from Swedish Export Credit Agency (EKN) for 5G gear buy
Reliance Jio Infocomm, the telecom unit of Reliance Industries (RIL), is connected up $2.2 billion in financing through the Swedish Export Credit Agency (EKN) in the last fiscal through March to buy equipment and services from Ericsson for the telco's pan-India 5G rollout. “RJIL tied up its first ever Swedish Export Credit Agency (EKN) supported facilities of $2.2 billion equivalent, making it the largest cover ever provided by EKN for a deal to a private corporate globally,” the Mukesh Ambani-owned conglomerate said in its annual report for FY23.
On July 7 that the telco was in discussions with foreign banks to secure funds to invest in its 5G rollout, mainly acquiring equipment from Finland’s Nokia ($1.7 billion contract), and Sweden’s Ericsson ($2.1 billion contract). “During FY 2022-23, the Company (RIL) and its subsidiary Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL) tied up $3 billion equivalent through syndicated term loan facilities,” the annual report added.
As on March 31, 2023, Jio’s 5G services under Jio True 5G were available in 2300 cities and towns. According to the telco’s website, its 5G services are available in 6,258 neighborhoods currently. “To fulfil its ambitious pan-India 5G rollout plan, Jio has committed to an investment of Rs 2 lakh crore,” RIL said. Jio’s parent added that the telco is on track to complete 5G rollout by December 2023 using the indigenously developed 5G stack, which it also aims to export to other countries in the coming months.
Additionally, the company’s digital services business, which includes Jio Platforms and the telecom unit, has filed a total of 1120 patent applications worldwide pertaining to digital services, it said. “Total count of patent applications filed worldwide is 1,120. Among the key areas covered by these patents are 5G and 6G technologies and Distributed Ledger Technology,” RIL said. Work is in progress to develop applications and solutions across digital services, including 5G stack, cloud and edge computing, devices & operating systems, blockchain, IoT, mixed reality, artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML), secure identity, and natural language processing, the company said.
Jio's focus in the medium term will be to extend OEM (original equipment manufacturer) partnerships to develop new 4G/5G devices as part of its strategy to take a platform approach to all solutions, the report added. The Jio network currently carries in excess of 55% of the country’s data traffic, RIL said, adding that it saw 113.3 billion GB of data consumed on the network, a 24% increase over FY22. As a result, the per capita data consumption on the Jio network rose to 23.1 GB per user per month from 19.1 GB in FY22. Jio’s subscriber base as on March 31, 2023 was 439.3 million driving an average revenue per user (ARPU) of Rs 178.8, RIL said. “Within four years of the launch of FTTH (fiber-to-the-home) services, Jio has over 9 million connected premises with an average data usage of almost 280 GB per month.”