Mukesh Ambani’s ambitious venture, Reliance Jio Infocomm has started offering 4G phone connections to its employees, to test for possible glitches, before they are offered to the general public. On December 27, the company will offer at least 70,000 more connections to its employees, bringing the number of test connections to 100,000, according to sources.
“My team is of the sample size of India,” Ambani told the top leadership of the company, explaining the rationale of an employee launch on December 27, distinct from a commercial one later.
The company aims to rope in 100 million subscribers in 2016-17 for the 4G service. The December 27 rollout would not be a commercial offering of Jio services, as has been widely reported in the media, sources said. The employees would also be able to test out 4G enabled mobile services like Jio Chat, Jio Money, Jio Play and Jio-on-Demand. An application, called OOKla app would come embedded with the connection.
On Dec 27, the chairman has invited its employees for a interactive show in Navi Mumbai, which will see performances by Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan and musician A.R.Rahman. The program would also be shown simultaneously in 1,000 centres across India. The company wants to validate its Jio services through employees, rather than launch it directly to customers, sources said.
Messages in JioChat fly in and out in plain text, instant videos and as files and emojis. Employees would also be able to pay for meals at the Jio Headquarters in Reliance Corporate Park (RCP) in Mumbai through “JioMoney”. As a mobile wallet, no money would change hands. Employees would have to pre-fill them. All shops and restaurants at RCP would honour JioMoney. Employees who adopt the technology would be able to enjoy Internet speeds of up to 50-60 mbps.
Ambani’s concurrent plan to set up a payments bank, with State Bank of India as partner, is expected to add to this “Digital Life.”
The company aims to tie up with one million merchants who would honour Jio payments.