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Ambitious Indian wireless network planned
Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man. has told executives of his energy conglomerate he plans to build one of the world’s most advanced wireless networks.
In a memo obtained by The Wall Street Journal, Ambani lays out a fourth-generation, or 4G, wireless service with “99.999 percent” network availability that would include “integration with an app store, ours or others” to help smartphone users with tasks such as ordering fast-food or buying movie tickets. Ambani envisions sourcing mobile devices from China and Taiwan with content delivery to “three screens,” — cellphones, laptops and TVs — and two 300,000-square-foot data centers, the memo revealed.
The memo was circulated in 2010, the Journal reported, but Ambani has begun putting some of his plans in motion.
The network, under Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd., is intended to cover large areas of India, targeting 700 cities, including 100 high-priority markets.
Delhi and Mumbai would be the first big launches, a person briefed on the matter told the Journal.
Analysts estimate the initial efforts could cost more than $10 billion and require installing tens of thousands of new cell towers.
Reliance has already spent more than $3 billion to acquire radio spectrum covering all of India, the Journal reported.
South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. is seen as the front-runner to provide 4G gear for Reliance’s network although it has declined to comment, the newspaper said.
Copyright 2012 by United Press International