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Reliance Jio teams up with Google on 5G and retail

India’s biggest telco will use Google Cloud to manage its 5G network and grow its commerce business

Reliance Jio will tap Google Cloud to manage its 5G network and grow its commerce business in a sign of closer ties between telcos and cloud providers amid the growing 5G momentum in Asia-Pacific.

Specifically, the Indian telco will leverage Google Cloud to automate the lifecycle management of its 5G network and the cloud supplier’s edge cloud infrastructure to support edge computing workloads.

In March 2020, Google unveiled a global mobile edge cloud strategy aimed at delivering a portfolio and marketplace of 5G offerings built jointly with telecoms companies.

The offerings include an open cloud platform for developing network-centric applications and a global distributed edge for optimally deploying the applications.

Jio said its tie-up with Google will enable its 5G service to meet the demands of customers and strengthen its position as one of the largest telcos in India. It is conducting 5G trials in Mumbai and will start selling a low-cost 4G phone co-developed with Google later this year.

At the same time, Jio will explore building new services across gaming, healthcare, education and video entertainment sectors, leveraging its 5G network, software and Google Cloud’s artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), data and analytics, and other cloud-native technologies.

Unlike many other telcos, Jio is building a proprietary standalone 5G network and is already using ML to autonomously manage its large communication infrastructure through a platform it built from scratch to process over 500 billion records a day.

On the commerce front, Jio said it will augment the compute workloads in Reliance’s retail business with Google’s AI/ML, e-commerce, and demand forecasting offerings. This will enable the company to scale up as needed to respond to customer demand. It will also adopt Google Cloud’s serverless data analytics platform to advance its data-led innovation strategy.

“Cloud solutions is a key area where we are collaborating with Google. Jio will use Google Cloud’s cutting-edge technologies to power Jio’s 5G solutions and for powering the internal needs of key Reliance growth businesses like Reliance Retail, JioMart, JioSaavn and JioHealth,” said Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries.

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, said the partnership will help Indian consumers connect to a faster and better internet and support businesses in their digital transformation.

“As part of this collaboration, Reliance will also shift its core retail businesses to Google Cloud infrastructure which will enable them to scale up and improve customer experience,” he added.

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