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Reliance Jio Surpasses 400M Subscribers As It Ponders Heading West

India’s telecom giant Reliance Jio topped 405 million subscribers in the third quarter and is now the first operator outside of China to cross the 400 million mark in a single-country market, according to a TechCrunch report on Friday (Oct. 30).

The 10-month-old startup founded by Mukesh Ambani, India’s wealthiest man, posted a net increase in profits of 12.85 percent on a quarter-by-quarter basis, totaling Rs 2,844 crore for the quarter ending Sept. 30, according to the filing. Comparatively, last year’s profit was Rs 900 crore.

Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) is Rs 145, up from last quarter’s Rs 140. Jio said that crossing the 400 million subscriber mark makes it the world’s first telecom operator outside China to cross that milestone in a single country market.

Jio’s revenue from operations spiked by 33 percent to Rs 17,481 crore. During the same period last year, revenue from operations was Rs 13,130 crore. Jio also reported that its quarterly EBITDA run rate crossed $1 billion and net profit surged to $409 million.

“The company has evaluated the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and has determined that there is no significant impact on its financial position and performance,” the company said in its filing.

Reliance Jio counts Facebook and Google among its 13 international investors and also said average revenue per user is Rs 145 ($1.94), up from $1.88 in the second quarter. Across the past two quarters, the startup said it added 30,000 people to its workforce.

Jio Platforms said it is deeply focused on developing a 5G solution that is open and has “interoperable interface compliant architecture” with a virtualized RAN.

“This is intended to fast track the roll out of indigenous 5G network infrastructure and services in India. Qualcomm Technologies and Jio achieved over a 1 Gbps milestone on the Reliance Jio 5GNR solution with a Tier-I carrier in the US,” Reliance said in a statement, per the Indian news outlet The News Minute.

Jio Platforms, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, operates several tech subsidiaries including JioMoney, JioTV, JioMusic, cloud services, gaming, healthcare and more.

Kiran Thomas, president of Reliance Industries, said in an earnings call that the company has expansion plans outside of India but no timetable has been established.

Between April and May, Jio said that Big Tech and private equity had invested $10.4 billion in the platform in exchange for 17 percent of the company. At the time, Jio had 388 million subscribers.

Earlier this month, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) announced it was making a $750 million investment in the Reliance Industries subsidiary Reliance Retail Ventures, giving the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund a 1.2 percent stake.

Despite the jump in total subscribers, the company has had to deal with the fall-off of active users. Data from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) showed a three-year low of 78 percent, down from 84 percent a year earlier.

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