Reliance Jio’s 4G internet service is due to launch on commercially by the end of 2016, but the company has rolled out the service partially. Customers who buy the Reliance Lyf brand handset can get an early preview of the Reliance Jio 4G experience.
Reliance Jio is an awaited launch in India’s 4G services because the company holds a pan-India license in the 4G spectrum, and will be offering only 4G LTE connectivity. Reliance’s total investment is nearly Rs 34,000 crores in this venture, and no doubt there’s a lot riding for the company with Jio.
We explain all you need to know about the Reliance Jio 4G service.
How to get a Reliance Jio SIM
For now, the Jio 4G service is available on a limited preview only. Users can buy a Reliance Lyf brand smartphone, but before that you need to register on Reliance Jio website (jio.com), and you’ll get a code delivered to your email for Jio service. The code is what you’ll need to go the SIM along with a Lyf smartphone. Reliance Digital Stores and Digital Xpress mini stores are where you’ll get these Lyf branded smartphones.
The code is non-transferrable, and you will need to carry your own ID and address proof to get the same. Do note the codes come with an expiry date, and so you need to buy the SIM and phone before validity expires.
How expensive are the Reliance Lyf phones
Reliance Lyf, which is the smartphone brand from the company, recently announced price-cuts on its cheapest smartphones, and is now offering 4G VoLTE ready smartphones at Rs 2,999. While specs might not be the highlight of these phones, the interesting bit is that you can get the Reliance Jio SIM connection free for 3 months.
There are also other options like Wind 5 and Wind 6 which cost Rs 6,599 and Rs 5,999 each and offer specs like 5-inch HD display (Wind 5), 8 megapixel rear camera and 5 megapixel front camera along with Android Lollipop 5.1 OS.
Reliance also has more expensive options like Earth 1, Earth 2 which cost Rs 15,000 and above in case you want better specs. Reliance Lyf is already the fifth largest smartphone brand in India, so clearly this Jio+Lyf phone deal appears to be working for the company.
So what speeds should you expect with Reliance Jio?
We’ve had a chance to test out Reliance Jio speeds and these are pretty solid. The RJio SIM we tested offered us a minimum download speed of over 8Mbps. However, the average speeds were double this at over 18Mbps.
The download speeds came in the range of 6Mbps to 10Mbps, which is way above what you get from other players now. But like any network in India, the speeds are not consistent across a city or even one location. Then this service is still in Beta.
We’ve also tried out the Reliance JioNet WiFi service, which was made live at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in March this year ahead of the IPL. The speeds we got ranged at peaks of 65 Mbps for download and 71 Mbps for uploads.
What is the pricing for the service?
For the first 90 days, the Jio services are free on the Reliance SIM. Basically you can see this as free high-speed data for three months. Once the preview period expires, regular tariffs will apply, provided Reliance Jio’s commercial launch has begun across India.
Everything else about Reliance Jio
Reliance Jio is already on sixth position where data usage goes, even though the service is still in pilot mode and saw close to 13 million GB data usage per month. Airtel is the industry leader with 45 million gigabyte (GB) of data usage per month in the March quarter and it has 55 million users.
Jio, which has done a pilot launch for its employees and their relatives and friends, saw its 70 lakh users download 13 million GB of data at an average of 19.2 GB per user, according to company data.
Reliance will offers its services through an all-LTE (Long Term Evolution) network. Voice services on Jio will be through VoLTE (voice over LTE), which allows for calls over the faster LTE network instead of regular voice networks. VoLTE promises higher call quality, along with faster video and multimedia services.
The company has also laid more than 2.5 lakh kilometres of fibre-optic cables, covering 18,000 cities and over one lakh villages. The service claims to have an initial end-to-end capacity to serve in excess of 100 million wireless broadband and 20 million Fibre-to-Home customers.