At the Reliance Jio commercial launch earlier this month, Mukesh Ambani announced that the company was planning on garnering 100 million subscribers by the end of this year. But reports state that the hugely positive response to the Jio Welcome Offer has made the company revise its target to 250 million subscribers. It is said to be ready to invest ‘another couple of billions’ to expand its network capacity and is in talks with potential partners as well. Also Read - JioFiber broadband plans with free Netflix subscription: Check plans, price, data benefits, moreAlso Read - How to get free Netflix subscription: Just follow these steps
Currently, Reliance Jio has the capacity to serve a user base in excess of 100 million wireless broadband and 20 million Fibre-to-Home customers. But in order to serve 250 million customers, the company needs to expand its network capacity fast, and is reportedly in talks with the likes of Samsung, Juniper Networks, Ericsson and Cisco among others, The Hindu reports. Jio currently boasts a subscriber base of over five million, which is fast increasing, and this rise is choking network capacity of other operators due to high traffic. The report adds that Jio has tasked Samsung to setup 48,000 towers, which will add to the existing 1.3 lakh telecom towers. In comparison, the likes of Idea Cellular and Vodafone have close to two lakh telecom towers. Also Read - Reliance Jio Rs 247 plan is the best work from home monthly plan: Check data, call and other benefits
Reliance Jio users are consuming around 26GB data on an average every month, and the number is rapidly rising. The amount of data being consumed on an average will be rising even more once Jio launches its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) service. This service is being trialed in Mumbai and Delhi and offers speeds up to 100Mbps, with tariff plans expected to start from as low as Rs 500. This is also among the primary reasons why Jio is looking at quickly expanding its network capacity. “The idea is to multi-fold our transmission capacity to 250 terabits per second (tbps) from 2 tbps now, as Jio is getting enormous response from data users who are using data at an average of 26 GB per month compared to the industry average of less than 1 GB per month, the publication’s source was quoted as saying.
If Reliance Jio manages to reach the 250 million subscribers mark, it will become the second-biggest operator in the country behind Bharti Airtel. As per TRAI’s data, of the billion mobile subscribers in India, 260 million are using Airtel’s network. ALSO READ: Reliance Jio deposits around Rs 6,500 earnest money for upcoming spectrum sale
It remains to be seen how soon Jio will be able to reach the milestone. Apart from issues with interconnect points and number portability with incumbent network operators, the company has been unable to keep up with the high demand for Jio SIM cards in the country. Despite the list of smartphone companies it is partnering for the Welcome Offer growing every day, people are frustrated with not being able to get their hands on a SIM card. Quite a few Reliance Digital and Reliance Digital Xpress Mini stores have run out of SIM card stocks and there doesn’t seem to be much clarity on when they would be available again.