Reliance JioFiber started providing Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) services to its customers back in September this year. A lot of the customers were also using these services on a preview basis for a long time. However, as per an ET Telecom report on the matter, the free party for these subscribers of JioFiber might have ended as Reliance Jio has finally started charging these customers and is asking them to choose from the home broadband plans. To recall, Reliance JioFiber customers had started using the services but were not paying anything for it because the telecom operator was busy setting up its new billing system. But, now it seems that the customers will finally have to start paying the monthly rental for their wired broadband connection from JioFiber. This move is bound to help the telecom operator’s profitability as well.
Customers in Metros to be Charged First
As per a Reliance Jio official, the customers who had deposited Rs 2,500 as an upfront amount before their connection, are now charged the monthly rental in the big metro markets from now on. The commercial billing should also be on, on a pan-India basis in a couple of weeks, as per the Jio official. The Mukesh Ambani led telecom operator had around 5 lakh customers who had come on board the testing phase of Reliance JioFiber and were enjoying free services since then. Now, these customers will be billed commercially going forward, which will require them to select their respective home broadband plan. Also, the transition of these preview customers into paid customers is likely to happen in phases.
Reliance Jio Billing System Stabilisises
Another person aware of this new transition process told ET, “Existing customers who had opted for the trials are being told that free home broadband services will be discontinued shortly and they need to migrate to specific JioFiber plans to stay connected.”
It is worth noting that Reliance JioFiber plans start at the price of Rs 699 per month and go as high as Rs 8,499 with speeds ranging from 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps. These plans not only ship high-speed data to the consumers but also come bundled with various services like video calling, voice calling, home network sharing, device security and access to the content platform. In the past few months, the billing of these broadband customers was not happening since the billing platform, which was used for billing both the broadband customers and mobility customers of Reliance Jio could not be stabilised. Now that the system is back on track, these subscribers of the JioFiber can be started to bill on a monthly basis.
Reliance Jio to Target Mobility Customers for JioFiber
As per Nitin Soni from Fitch, Jio’s broadband user base might jump up to 10 million mark in two years, and the reason for that could be “the company’s market execution, distribution reach and retail footprint.” Currently, Reliance Jio might have 700,000 subscribers hooked onto its home broadband plans. Further, as per the analysts, Reliance Jio is expected to target its mobility customers for the JioFiber plans as that would create stickiness with the same set of customers. It would also provide JioFiber with cross-promotional opportunities. The other competing telecom operators might find this hard to replicate given their balance sheet issues. As per Jio’s words, it is targeting 20 million homes and 16 million enterprises across 1,600 towns and aims to complete the rollout in 12-18 months. The analysts, however, believe that the growth of JioFiber is expected to be gradual as the pricing is not disruptive.