Google Cloud and Indian telco giant Jio reveal 5G collaboration

5G masts with blue sky in the background
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Indian telco Reliance Jio and Google Cloud are partnering to provide 5G technology for enterprise customers and consumers across India.

Google Cloud is set to provide a complete end-to-end cloud offering for a fully automated lifecycle management of Jio’s 5G network and services. The companies believe this will help strengthen Jio’s position in India as one of the leading network service providers in the country.

Edge cloud infrastructure from Google Cloud will provide an open, highly scalable, and high-performing platform for supporting Jio, the two companies stated. They will also collaborate to bring a portfolio of 5G edge computing solutions to help industries address their biggest challenges.

Jio, considered the largest mobile network operator in India and the third-largest in the world, is looking to build new services across gaming, healthcare, education, and video entertainment sectors using its 5G network and Google Cloud’s technology in AI/ML, data and analytics, and other cloud-native technologies.

"We are delighted to announce a new 5G partnership with Reliance Jio to help Indian consumers connect to a faster and better internet and support businesses in their digital transformation and help Jio build new services in sectors like health, education and more," said Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet.

As part of the deal, Reliance Industries, of which Jio is a subsidiary, will augment its compute workload for retail businesses with Google’s AI/ML, ecommerce, and demand forecasting offerings.

"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 Limited.

Furthermore, Google and Jio are launching a jointly developed smartphone, JioPhone Next, which will be launched in India on 10 September 2021. It’s based on an optimised OS that is leveraged from the Android and Play Store as the two companies try to address the unique needs of millions of smartphone users across the country.

The features include Google Assistant, automatic read-out of screen text, language translation, and a smart camera with augmented reality filters.

Speaking about the joint effort, Pichai added: “Our vision is to bring affordable access to information for Indians in their own language, to build new products and services for India’s unique needs, and to empower businesses with technology.

"I’m excited that today, we can announce the next steps in this vision, starting with a new, affordable Jio smartphone, created with Google," he added. "Our teams have optimised a version of our Android OS especially for this device.”

Zach Marzouk

Zach Marzouk is a former ITPro, CloudPro, and ChannelPro staff writer, covering topics like security, privacy, worker rights, and startups, primarily in the Asia Pacific and the US regions. Zach joined ITPro in 2017 where he was introduced to the world of B2B technology as a junior staff writer, before he returned to Argentina in 2018, working in communications and as a copywriter. In 2021, he made his way back to ITPro as a staff writer during the pandemic, before joining the world of freelance in 2022.