It is safe to say that Reliance Jio’s foray into India’s broadband market is seen as the next big thing. The Mukesh Ambani-led company has been testing its JioFiber fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband service since 2016 — and now sources tell indianexpress.com that the nationwide rollout will happen towards the end of the year. The original plan was to commercially launch the JioFiber service at the end of last year, but it appears that the company is far from achieving the target. So far, Jio has only been able to cover 10 per cent of the population in those cities where the JioFiber service is being tested.
JioFiber service will initially come to the top cities of India such as Mumbai and Delhi, followed by other Tier-1 and Tier-II cities. As part of JioFiber preview offer, users will get 100GB of monthly data for 90 days at 100Mbps speed, along with access to Jio’s suite of apps. However, users have to pay Rs 4,500 as a one-time security deposit to avail the offer. The rationale behind charging Rs 4,500 from users as a security deposit is the cost attached to the router. A person familiar with Jio’s plans told us that each unit costs Rs 8,000 to the company and perhaps why subscribers have been asked to pay Rs 4,500 as a security deposit.
The Optical Network Termination (ONT) device is described as a high-capacity router, which can be used for five different things: Internet, Cable TV, Landline, Home automation, and Home surveillance. This simply means that Jio aims to offer a complete package that includes multiple services, thereby creating a larger platform. The arrival of JioFiber will adversely affect not only existing broadband service providers (Airtel, ACT Fiber, BSNL, and MTNL), but also satellite cable operators like Tata Sky, Dish TV, and others.
JioFiber router images
While we know what the JioFiber router looks like now along with the Jio branded remote control, we don’t know much else in terms of features. We know that the JioFiber is an advanced router that can be used as a set-top box, but other details remain scant at this point.
Jio, the telecom arm of Reliance Industries, has changed mobile telephony landscape in India. Like what it did in the telecom sector, Reliance will likely use an aggressive strategy to lock customers into the broadband and fiber ecosystem. Word on the street is that Mukesh Ambani could announce the launch date of its JioFiber service on July 5 at Reliance Industries’ annual general meeting.
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