India’s richest billionaire Mukesh Ambani, the chairman and managing director of telecom and oil conglomerate Reliance Industries Limited, has promised to offer free 4G internet connection to 1 billion Indian residents, until the end of 2016.
The “Jio” 4G network, which covers approximately 80% of the country, will be priced at US$2.25 per month starting from 2017.
Currently, India is considered to have one of the lowest internet connection rate in all of Asia, with only 20% of adults in the nation connected to the internet. The country is widely known to have extremely slow Wi-Fi spots and broadband connections, which barely reach rural areas with poor internet infrastructures.
In contempt of the efforts and determination of Ambani to create an improved ecosystem for internet users, and even with his investment that led to the establishment of around 100,000 telecom towers across India, people are struggling to gain internet access.
Ambani’s 4G network was launched on September 5, and his company Reliance Industries Limited will continue to offer various offers to trigger a surge in the internet connection rate of the country.
In conjunction with Google’s nationwide plan of installing Wi-Fi spots at Indian train stations and and Facebook’s free internet offer, more than a billion Indian residents are set to receive free and fast internet connection that will most likely be utilized by mobile users.
New Market for Bitcoin
India has long been considered as a promising market for Bitcoin, specifically due to its lack of robust financial structure and payment systems. It is significantly difficult to send both domestic and international payments in and from India, leading to an inefficient environment for local and expat workers.
If billions of people are provided with decent internet access, it will open a whole new market to Bitcoin, in which billions of mobile 4G network users can utilize the digital currency to send remittances across the country.
For instance, a worker that resides in Mumbai can send monthly payments to family members and friends in rural areas with low fees, which previously wasn’t possible because of the lack of Internet connection.