When Jio arrived almost 3 years back, it was a revolution of sorts. It changed the status quo of India’s largely outdated telecom industry by bringing in infrastructure and services that were available globally, and at dirt cheap prices. Three years since then and handling a multitude of criticism, the Jio behemoth isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.
Adding on to the aggressive list of services already offered, Jio’s parent Reliance Industries, at its 42nd AGM today, announced plans to roll out Jio Fiber. This fiber network, once rolled out, would become India’s most expansive and the fastest fixed line broadband network till date.
And once again, as was the case with Jio’s roll-out, Jio Fiber will come bundled with a plethora of services. The Ambani-family group will roll this out as tri-service offering — the network, content and commerce.
Jio Giga Fiber will offer lifetime free voice calls from landline phones and high speed broadband, besides free high definition TV and dish with minimum subscription of Rs 700 per month. And that pricing, once again, will be a paltry as compared with global prices. According to Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, the services under the plan will be available at one-tenth of current global rates.
Speaking at the company’s 42nd annual general meeting on August 12, Ambani said that invitation for registrations in August last year received overwhelming response. “We received 15 million registrations from 16 million towns,” Ambani said.
“Based on these invitations we have drawn up a plan to reach 15 million residences and 20 million businesses in these 16 million towns,” he said. “Over the past year, we have built and installed the network in over five lakh homes to fine-tune the service and improve it based on customer feedback.”
The basic plan will start at 100 Mbps and go up to 1 Gbps. Jio Fiber plans will be priced between Rs 700 (~$10) and Rs 10,000 (~150) per month.
The fiber roll-out in itself is a bundle of a multitude of services. These services include a 1 Gbps network speed, free landline connection, digital set-top box, ultra-high-definition entertainment, virtual content, interactive gaming and more smart home solutions.
The announcement also includes an IoT platform, that is scheduled to roll-out on January 1, 2020. Another ambitious foray will be into blockchain, wherein the company plans to roll-out “one of the world’s biggest blockchain networks” in the next 12 months.
Demos for all of these services were shown live during the course of this announcement. Interesting bits of these services include a virtual reality experience in content, commerce and education, along with real-time gaming over the cloud, using Jio Fiber’s high speeds.
The cheapest data plan is priced at Rs 700 a month, and has speeds up to 100Mbps. The top-end plan comes at Rs 10,000 a month and provides access to broadband, Jio HomeTV and Jio’s IoT.
Voice calls from home will be free forever, Ambani announced. The plan also features an unlimited international calling pack from Jio landline at Rs 500 per month, to US and Canada.
Jio Giga Fiber services will roll-out on a commercial basis from 5th September this year, an IoT platform on January 1, 2020, and “one of the world’s biggest blockchain networks” in the next 12 months.