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这家印度公司想挑战阿里巴巴和亚马逊

Aaron Pressman 2019年08月28日

该公司成立仅三年,便已经打造出了一整套仅支持4G标准的现代化无线网络。

图片来源:Photographed by Vivek Singh for Fortune

印度电信领域的新皇驾到:Reliance Jio Infocomm——由亿万富翁穆克什·安巴尼创建的一家无线网络运营商,是去年“改变世界的公司”榜单的冠军。截至6月底,该网络拥有3.31亿注册用户,首次超过了Vodafone Idea(3.2亿名用户)。这家电信公司的母公司是安巴尼旗下的能源与零售巨头信实工业公司(Reliance Industries Ltd.),而且瑞士联合银行分析师预测,该电信公司有望以此为基石,打造能够与中国阿里巴巴和美国亚马逊相媲美的印度线上电子商务平台。

这?#26434;?#36816;营商来说是一个了不起的壮举,因为公司成立仅三年的时间,而且一开始提供免费的移动网络服务,后于2017年开始将用户转入依?#30343;?#20998;便宜的数据套餐。当前,公司的其中一个Jio套餐对每GB数据流量仅收取3卢比的费用,相当于5美分,是全球最便宜的套餐。

为了组建这个低成本的运营商,安巴尼放弃了较老的2G和3G技术,耗费数十亿美元打造出了一整套仅支持4G标准的现代化无线网络,并采用了搭建互联网所使用的路由器和相关设备,而?#30343;?#37027;些昂贵的、更加专业的电信交换连接装置。

安巴尼的无线网络价格战正在蚕食其对手的业绩。Jio称,其净利润在截至6月30日的季度跃升了46%,达到了1.3亿美元,Vodafone Idea亏损了6.9亿美元,排名第三位的Airtel亏损了4.1亿美元。后两者在去年还处于盈利状态。

信实一直在拓展其在电子商务和云服务方面的产品,?#21496;?#20063;让瑞士联合银行的分析师开始将这家公司与顶级互联网企业进行对?#21462;?#20998;析师总结说:“信实工业公司会成为印度的亚马逊/阿里巴巴/沃尔玛吗?是的。”有鉴于阿姆巴尼雄厚的财务实力以及他通过成本削减获取行业主导地位的决心,这个论断并?#30343;?#27809;有道理。(财富中文网)

本文另一版本登载于《财富》杂志2019年9月刊,标题为《印度的无线网络奇迹》。

译者:冯丰

审校?#21512;?#26519;

There’s a new king of telecom in India: Reliance Jio Infocomm, the wireless carrier created by multibillionaire Mukesh ?Ambani, which ranked No. 1 on last year’s Change the World list. The network had 331 million subscribers at the end of June, exceeding Vodafone Idea (320 million customers) for the first time. Owned by Ambani’s energy and retailing giant, Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL), the telecom company could become the foundation of an online and e-commerce platform in India that rivals Alibaba in China and Amazon in the U.S., analysts at UBS predict.

It’s an amazing feat for the carrier, which started offering mobile service for free just three years ago before converting subscribers to still-cheap data plans in 2017. Currently, one Jio plan charges just three rupees per gigabyte of data used, equal to 5¢, and is ranked as the cheapest rate in the world.

To create the low-cost carrier, Ambani spent billions to build a thoroughly modern wireless network that supports only 4G standards, bypassing older 2G and 3G technology, and relies on the kind of routers and equipment used to build the Internet instead of on more specialized—and expensive—telecommunications switching gear.

Ambani’s wireless price war is eating his competitors. While Jio said net profit in the quarter ending June 30 jumped 46%, to $130 million, Vodafone Idea lost $690 million and third-ranked Airtel lost $410 million. Both had been profitable a year earlier.

Reliance has been expanding its offerings into e-commerce and cloud services, leading UBS analysts to make the comparison to top Internet companies. “Can RIL evolve into India’s Amazon/Alibaba/Walmart? Yes,” the analysts concluded. With Ambani’s deep pockets and willingness to cost-cut his way to industry domination, it’s certainly plausible.

A version of this article appears in the September 2019 issue of Fortune with the headline “India’s Wireless Wonder.”

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