TECH: Google will invest $1 billion in India’s second-largest mobile operator.

Google will invest up to $1 bil­lion in Indi­a’s sec­ond-largest mobile oper­a­tor, the two com­pa­nies say, as the Android mak­er seeks to bol­ster its pres­ence in the coun­try’s vast and boom­ing telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions market.

The glob­al tech giant will buy a $700 mil­lion stake in Bhar­ti Air­tel from bil­lion­aire Sunil Mit­tal, giv­ing it a 1.28% stake, the com­pa­nies said in a joint state­ment on Friday.

The move is part of the “Google for India Dig­i­ti­za­tion Fund” launched in 2020 and aimed at pro­vid­ing afford­able smart­phone access to more than a bil­lion Indi­ans and accel­er­at­ing the use of cloud com­put­ing for busi­ness­es, they said. said the two companies.

The invest­ment will help small Indi­an busi­ness­es embrace dig­i­tal tools as India strives to embrace dig­i­tal edu­ca­tion, pay­ments and e‑commerce amid the pan­dem­ic, Google said in a blog post.

Up to an addi­tion­al $300 mil­lion will be invest­ed in “mutu­al­ly agree­able” busi­ness ven­tures over the next five years, includ­ing explor­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties to “break down the bar­ri­ers of smart­phone own­er­ship” in the price-con­scious market .

“We are proud to join in a com­mon vision to expand con­nec­tiv­i­ty and ensure equi­table inter­net access for more Indi­ans,” Sun­dar Pichai, Indi­an-born chief exec­u­tive of Google par­ent com­pa­ny Alpha­bet, said in a state­ment. a statement.

The com­pa­nies also plan to joint­ly devel­op soft­ware for 5G and oth­er stan­dards, he added.

Google already has a 7.7% stake in Indi­an mar­ket leader Reliance Jio, owned by Asi­a’s rich­est man, Mukesh Ambani, after a $4.5 bil­lion invest­ment in 2020.

The two com­pa­nies have col­lab­o­rat­ed on a low-cost 4G-enabled smart­phone which was launched in Novem­ber last year.

Jio has been locked in fierce com­pe­ti­tion with Air­tel and British telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions giant Voda­fone’s local Vi unit since it launched a price war in 2016 by offer­ing super cheap inter­net and free calls.

Air­tel is an Indi­an glob­al com­mu­ni­ca­tions solu­tions provider with more than 480 mil­lion cus­tomers in 17 coun­tries in South Asia and Africa.

Google ser­vices are acces­si­ble by more than 100 mil­lion users in India.

The tech giant has run into legal issues with Indi­a’s Com­pe­ti­tion Com­mis­sion, which said the com­pa­ny abused its Android sys­tem’s dom­i­nant posi­tion in the smart TV mar­ket segment.

Reg­u­la­tors argue that smart TV mak­ers don’t have an alter­na­tive to Android and are there­fore forced to install Google’s apps.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.