India’s Reliance’s digital unit Jio wins Qualcomm backing in boost to 5G plans

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India’s Reliance Industries said on Sunday Qualcomm Inc’s investment arm will buy a 0.15 per cent stake in its digital unit Jio Platforms for 7.3 billion rupees ($97.1 million).

The partnership will help Jio Platforms, the unit that houses Reliance’s telecoms venture Jio Infocomm, to “roll out advanced 5G infrastructure and services for Indian customers,” Reliance said in a statement.

Qualcomm’s move comes at a time India is preparing to auction 5G airwaves to telecoms service providers.

Read more: Saudi Arabia’s PIF to invest $1.5 bln into India's Jio Platforms

With this new investment, Reliance has sold a 25.2 percent stake in Jio Platforms to investors in a funding spree that began late April, raising $15.69 billion.

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Although Jio Platforms also comprises Reliance’s music and movie apps, Jio Infocomm - the mobile carrier - is its centerpiece.

Reliance chairman and billionaire tycoon Mukesh Ambani has always pitched Jio Infocomm as a tech company instead of a traditional telecoms firm.

That has helped Ambani win the backing of major tech firms such as Facebook Inc, Intel and now Qualcomm.

“Qualcomm offers deep technology know-how and insights that will help us deliver on our 5G vision and the digital transformation of India for both people and enterprises,” Ambani said in the statement.

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