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Reliance Jio, Microsoft partner for 'digital transformation' in India

Reliance Industries Ltd. said it entered into a long-term partnership with Microsoft Corp. to help with the "digital transformation" in India.

The agreement will see the companies working together to help businesses in India adopt technologies, such as data analytics, artificial intelligence, cognitive services, blockchain, internet of things and edge computing.

As part of the agreement, Reliance's Jio unit will set up data centers across India, with Microsoft to deploy its Azure platform in these data centers to support Jio's offerings. The initial two data centers, located in the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra, are targeted to be fully operational in 2020.

Jio will also provide its internal workforce with cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools from Microsoft.

The company also offered updates on its JioFiber product, an optical fiber-based fixed line broadband service of Reliance Jio, which will begin its commercial operations on Sept. 5. Plans will start from 700 Indian rupees up to 10,000 rupees per month depending on usage plans.

Moreover, the company said it is aiming to list its consumer businesses Reliance Jio and Reliance Retail in the next five years.

"We have received strong interest from strategic and financial investors in our consumer businesses," Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani said in a meeting with shareholders. "We will induct leading global partners in these businesses in next few quarters, and move towards listing both these companies in next five years."

As of Aug. 9, US$1 was equivalent to 70.98 Indian rupees.