Microsoft has struck a wide-ranging 10-year partnership with the Indian mobile carrier Reliance Jio, which will build and sell solutions based on Azure and Office 365 cloud services in the Indian market in addition to using those services internally.
Jio said it will build data centers to house Azure infrastructure and host its upcoming cloud services around the country, starting with two 7.5MW facilities in Gujarat and Maharashtra, which are expected to come online next year.
Jio said it will sell Azure infrastructure and platform services to Indian startups; productivity, collaboration, and business apps, including Office 365, to small and medium businesses; and custom cloud solutions to large enterprises to enable digital transformation.
Anant Maheshwari, president of Microsoft India, said the partnership was unlike any other the company has made to date. “This alliance represents a unique collaboration between our two organizations,” he wrote in a blog post.
Jio, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, has more than 340 million mobile customers in India, according to Maheshwari.
In 2015, Microsoft became the first US cloud giant to launch data centers in India, a major growth market for IT services. Amazon Web Services brought its first Indian cloud region online the following year, and Google Cloud Platform followed in 2017.
Gartner expects public cloud services revenue in India to reach $2.4 billion – a nearly 25 percent increase from 2018.