Indian mobile carrier Reliance Jio, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited has entered into a comprehensive 10-year alliance with Microsoft. Reliance Industries chairman, Mukesh Ambani announced the partnership at the company's 42nd annual general meeting.
"By working together to develop innovative and affordable cloud-enabled digital solutions built around Jio's world-class digital infrastructure and Microsoft's Azure cloud platform, we will accelerate the digitization of the Indian economy and make Indian businesses globally competitive," said Mukesh Ambani.
As per the deal, Reliance will set up a network of large, world-class data centers across the country, consisting of next-generation computer, storage, and networking capabilities. They will be powered by Microsoft's Azure cloud platform. The initial two data centers with 7.5 MW of power will be constructed in Gujarat and Maharashtra. It is expected to be fully operational in the calendar year 2020.
Microsoft expects the collaboration to accelerate India’s digital transformation and bring the latest technologies to millions of businesses across the country. “The combination of Jio’s leading connectivity and digital solutions with Azure, Azure AI and Office 365 will bring powerful tools and platforms for compute, storage, productivity and more to millions of businesses in the country,” said Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO.
Reliance Jio will completely migrate all its internal workforce to Microsoft Office 365, which will include all the cloud-based collaboration tools. All their non-network applications will move to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. Jio will also leverage Microsoft’s speech and language cognitive services for its device ecosystem, providing support in 13 Indian languages.
The partnership with Jio augments Microsoft’s presence in India. With the new deal, the tech giant will be in a position to expand its data center footprint in the country, posing a challenge to its biggest public cloud competitors, Amazon and Google. Microsoft was the first to offer services in India from local data centers in 2015. The very next year, Amazon Web Services launched its first Indian cloud region. In 2017, Google Cloud Platform entered the Indian market.