Reliance Jio has been a known name for bringing disruption in whatever industry it steps in. Being the latest entrant in the telecom war, the Mukesh Ambani led operator has fared exceedingly well in just a matter of two years. Using the ways of competitive pricing and attractive offerings the telco has proved its domination in the market. Now with a similar vision, Reliance Jio is ready to launch its fibre broadband services in India with the name of GigaFiber. Under this name, Reliance Jio is planning to extend its internet provision services to homes where the carrier will be providing broadband connections with the impressive speed of 1Gbps. Also, the operator will be providing entertainment services under the name of GigaTV (a dependent service on GigaFiber) using which Jio subscribers will be able to enjoy seamless video and audio content using the high-speed internet connection. For the first phase rollout of GigaFiber, Mukesh Ambani has announced that the registrations will be open starting August 15. Initially, the company plans to roll out GigaFiber in 1,100 tier I and tier II cities.
Another point which must be taken into consideration while analysing Jio’s entry in the broadband segment is the goal which Jio is eyeing for the coming years. As per official news, the number of broadband subscribers in India accounts for three crores of the total population. That is even a lesser number of users which Reliance Jio wants to target. In coming years, under the banner of Jio GigaFiber, the telco aims to rake in 5 crore customers, an audacious goal given the current number of broadband users. This massive aim of achieving five crore broadband subscribers means that Reliance Jio will have some heavy work to do. The telco will need to double down on investment, quality and speed of service alongside providing attractive pricing to the customers.
The reason for this measly number of total broadband subscribers in the country has been because of high pricing, poor quality of service and support and also because of speed issues. Customers have repeatedly been disappointed by their ISPs for these reasons leading to the massive adoption of mobile data over the conventional broadband connection. However, existing broadband users have resorted to telecom operators like Bharti Airtel and BSNL out of need. These two telcos are also going to be the big names opposing the entry of Reliance Jio in the broadband segment. Unfortunately, they might also be the one taking the blow once the Mukesh Ambani led telco steps in with its extremely competitive pricing, thus delivering a dent to their subscriber base.
Another face of this story is also the increased focus of government on broadband customers. The state-owned telco, BSNL is also not shying away from rolling out offers beforehand to retain its existing subscriber base. Moreover, ex-telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said in 2015 that the government aimed to touch the mark of 50 crore internet connections by the end of 2018. Keeping that in mind it can be said that the centre is also going to allocate significant funds along with accelerating its efforts in the field of broadband expansion. The government is already keen on the task of connecting 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats via the use of fibre. It has also doubled down on bringing open public Wi-Fi hotspots to train stations, with plans now brewing to expand the hotspots to other public places.
In a scenario like this, it is very apparent that while Reliance Jio is gearing up for a solid entry, it is not the only competitor with a big goal. Other telecom operators like Bharti Airtel and BSNL are going to attempt to seize a sizeable chunk of the customer base. However, the thing which will work in favour of Reliance Jio will be its attractive pricing. Looking at the current picture, it is an undeniable conclusion that the intensity of the broadband tariff war is only going to increase along with the number of broadband users in the country as the days pass.
Do not forget to tell us about what you feel about this development in the broadband home service segment from all sides. Also, if you are a broadband customer let us know about whether you are considering switching to Jio GigaFiber or not.
Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.