After the public testing late last year, Reliance Jio is reportedly ready to commercially launch its broadband service ‘Jio Fiber’ this Diwali which falls in October. The home broadband service is expected to be operational in 100 cities and offer 100GB of data at the price of Rs 500. With such a pricing, Jio Fiber, in all likelihood, will fuel another price war in the telecom industry where the entry of Jio 4G services has already put off incumbent players and compelled them to re-plan strategies in order to keep customers from deflecting.
Back in September last year, Reliance Jio Chairman Mukesh Ambani talked about the company’s plans of offering fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) service which could offer broadband speeds up to 1Gbps. The JioFiber is currently being rolled out in 10 large cities, including metros, and Delhi’s NCR regions of Noida and Gurgaon. According to an ET report, Reliance Jio is now looking at identifying mega clusters such as high-rise apartments and commercial establishments as part of its phase-II expansion program to connect 100 cities by December.
In addition to expanding to multiple cities, the company is also looking at allowing subscribers a Wi-Fi router at an affordable refundable deposit. BGR India has reached out to Reliance Jio for an official statement on the company’s plans for its broadband service. ALSO READ: Reliance Jio Fiber FTTH rollout reportedly begins in Mumbai, offers up to 100Mbps speed free for 3 months
When the company commercialized its Jio 4G services, it started off with free trial period which extended beyond the industry’s estimates, triggering a price war. Currently, the network boasts over 100million users, becoming one of the largest network providers for 4G connectivity. If the company’s past records are anything to go by, the upcoming Jio Fiber service could also follow similar route.
Earlier this year, Jio Fiber started as a pilot in the city of Mumbai where select users claimed to receive speeds between 70Mbps to 100Mbps. As an introductory offer, Reliance Jio is giving users three months of free unlimited high-speed internet access. However, a one-time cost of Rs 4,500 is levied for installation and the router. It is still unclear what would be the case post the expiry of the free period. According to some previous reports, the monthly/yearly packages would vary based on the speed and volume.
It is worth mentioning that Jio’s 4G rollout where the freebies went far too long than anticipated upset not only existing network operators but also the regulatory bodies. With the speculated pricing of Rs 500 for 100 GB could soon prove to be another disruptive offering from the company as rivals offer half the amount of the data at double the price. ALSO READ: Reliance Jio Fiber FTTH 1Gbps broadband tariff plans to start at Rs 500: Report
Unlike the US, the home broadband market in India is small with less than 20 million wireline broadband users compared to 200 million users for wireless broadband. Jio Fiber aims to invade the small segment by utilizing fiber optic technology for high-speed internet. With speed potential of 1Gbps, it is capable of downloading 125MB per second. In theory, this means you could easily download 500MB video in just a few seconds. During the Annual General Meeting (AGM), Ambani mentioned that the service will be offered to both home and business users.