Mukesh Ambani has kickstarted efforts to expand 4G data access in India, where internet usage is still capped at 28% of the total population. Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., the telecom arm of Ambani's conglomerate, offers 4G network access for as little as $2.10 per month, compressing data prices nationwide in a challenge to competitors.
Jio, which means “to live” in Hindi, has signed up 215 million subscribers since it went live in 2016, making it India’s No. 4 mobile provider, after Bharti Airtel Ltd., with 345 million, Vodafone Group PLC and Idea Cellular Ltd. Mr. Ambani’s foray started in 2010, when he bought a company that had just acquired a pan-India 4G license. That was a risky move at a time when fewer than one in 10 Indians were online. Airtel and Vodafone were still focused on rolling out 3G services, and few Indians owned 4G-capable smartphones.