Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm is now preparing to disrupt the country's fiber-to-home segment with the launch of commercial service around September-October period. According to an Economic Times report, JioFiber's base pack is likely to be 100 GB of data for just Rs 500, which may give birth to another price war in the FTTH segment.
In India, Bharti Airtel and BSNL are large fixed-line home broadband service providers that will be competing with Jio at the national level. At state-level, Jio will be competing with players like ACT Fibernet, Hathway, Spectranet and Tikona among others that offer services in certain states or telecom circles.
The home broadband segment in India has less than 20 million wireline broadband users. BSNL had nearly 10 million users in the home broadband segment as of March 31, followed by Bharti at about 1.95 million, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
Ahead of JioFiber's commercial launch, Bharti Airtel has started offering more data volumes under its existing home broadband plans. It is also offering 1,000 GB of free broadband data to customers on select broadband plans as part of ‘Bonus’ offer, which is currently active on the telco's web portal. The plan is available for new and existing customers in the National Capital Region (NCR) region.
Last month, Jio had officially said that it was making progress on the roll-out of its Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) business with beta trials initiated in a few locations. The telco had then said that it would expand the scope of the beta trials over the next few months.
The company is currently rolling out JioFiber Preview offer in select areas of Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Ahmedabad, Jamnagar, Surat and Vadodara.
Jio plans to expand its free trial offer beyond the few cities where it is currently available; a person told ET. He added that the free trial would culminate with the commercial launch in September or October.
According to the report, Jio is currently in the process of identifying mega clusters such as high-rise residential apartments and commercial establishments as a part of its phase-II expansion programme to connect 100 locations by December. It said that Jio might also offer a Wi-Fi router at an affordable refundable deposit.
The company is identifying mega clusters such as high-rise residential apartments and commercial establishments as a part of its phase-II expansion programme to connect 100 locations by December, the person who spoke to ET said. It is also mulling to allow subscribers a Wi-Fi router at an affordable refundable deposit.