The India that US President Donald Trump will see over the next few days will be very different from the India the past US Presidents would have seen when they had traveled, is perhaps the best way Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani could have described the way India is changing and consuming technology. He said this during a conversation with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at the Future Decoded Mumbai CEO Summit by Microsoft. Ambani says that the rapid development over the past few years has happened on the back of technology and an improving infrastructure.
He mentioned how the data consumption in India has gone up tremendously and how Digital India, what he calls a vision by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has now become a movement. Ambani spoke about how Reliance Jio has helped bring data and mobile network to almost every village and city in India, at affordable prices. “Before Jio, the price of 1GB data would be as high as Rs 10,000. Post Jio, 1GB data costs around Rs 10-12,” he said during the conversation with Nadella. Ambani mentioned how the spike in UPI payments is an indicator of increased digitization, with almost 2 lakh crore transactions per month being done via the unified payments interface (UPI) methods on mobile apps and wallets.
Satya Nadella broached the issue of gaming too. While Ambani was categorical that he has no plans of becoming a gamer anytime in the next decade, he did mention with a possible hint of regret that gaming as good as doesn’t exist in India, at this time. However, he went on to say that Reliance Jio with the Jio Fiber broadband service, they are geared up to change that. It was at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) keynote in August last year that Reliance had announced a global partnership with Microsoft for the Office 365, Azure for Jio’s data centers and AI services for natural language recognition for all Indian languages and dialects, among other things. Microsoft’s xCloud gaming service is a part of the company’s larger cloud vision and ties in with the Jio Fiber broadband connectivity and solutions.
The Microsoft xCloud game streaming service, which is currently under preview, allows users to play the Xbox console game titles on their Android phones, tablets and other computing devices without having to download the game or have specific hardware or gaming consoles to be able to play it—the prerequisite is a fast and stable internet line. Some of the games that are currently available on the Project xCloud service include Gears 5, Halo 5 and Forza
Ambani believes that gaming will be bigger than music, movies and TV shows put together, in India, in the years to come. It is only a matter of time.
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