With the launch of Jio GigaFiber broadband, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is trying to be a disrupter in the broadband market in India, just like what it did to mobile telephones with the launch of Reliance Jio. Although the launch date is not yet known, Jio has announced a preview offer for all its broadband customers in which they will not have to pay anything to get free 100GB data for 3 months. The 90-day offer comes with an internet speed of up to 100Mbps.
Jio broadband customers will, however, have to pay a refundable security deposit of Rs 4,500 against the Jio broadband modem, known as optical line terminal (OLT).
At the RIL annual general meeting (AGM) last month, RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani had announced that Jio will soon start rolling out broadband services for both homes and offices. The service will be available across 1,000 cities of India. It is being speculated in the market that Jio GigaFiber broadband will be available around the festive season of Diwali.
Jio broadband registration
At present, you cannot apply for a Jio broadband connection but can only express your interest in applying for one. Based on how many people apply from your locality or housing society will Jio take a call on which areas to launch its broadband service on priority. Registering for Jio broadband service can, therefore, make a difference if you want a connection.
Interested customers can register on the Jio website by sharing their address and phone number. This would be just an expression of interest sans any commitment from your end to buy Jio broadband services.
After the Jio broadband service is available in your area, its staff will call you to get the fixed-line fiber-to-home broadband connection.
Broadband market in India
According to latest data from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), there are 447.12 million broadband subscribers. Out of this only a fraction, or 17.90 million, have wired broadband connections. Once the Jio service is available, this minority number is expected to become the majority as the company promises to offer fixed-line fiber-based broadband services at dirt cheap rates.
Fearing tough competition from Reliance Jio, existing operators like Airtel and BSNL have already reduced their prices and have come out with fresh offers to retain customers who may be planning to switch their loyalty to the new market entrant.
Tata Sky, which was so far offering only DTH TV connections, has launched its broadband plans already to compete with Jio.
In terms of the number of subscribers, the top 5 wired broadband service providers are BSNL (9.15 million), Bharti Airtel (2.21 million), Atria Convergence Technologies (1.34 million), MTNL (0.83 million) and Hathway Cable & Datacom (0.75 million).