Why is Google pouring money into Indian telecom?

Post 2

Since 2020, Google has poured USD 4.5 billion into Reliance’s Jio Platforms and USD 1 billion into India’s second-largest telecom provider Bharti Airtel as part of its USD 10 billion India Digitization fund. The outpour of money into Indian telecom companies comes as a surprise, however, Google has its motives to do so. India is the second-largest smartphone market in the world, however, the smartphone penetration still stands at 40%. This is where Google, which already holds 95% of India’s mobile phone market through the Android OS, sees a bigger market and new opportunities to seize. Partnering with the telecom players allows Google to lead users to Google-led platforms. Google has already launched a 4G smartphone called JioPhone Next with Reliance, and the company is looking to strike a similar deal with Airtel. The telecom investments also allow the company to leverage India’s growing public cloud market where Google Cloud is looking to expand its existing 10% market share. Google is also looking to tap the 58 million MSMEs in the country to undergo a digital transformation.

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