Reliance Jio’s optical-fiber-based fixed line broadband service, aka Reliance Jio Fiber, is officially out of beta. Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), at its 42st Annual General Meeting in Mumbai on Monday, announced that Reliance Jio Fiber is ready for prime time now. The service will be rolled out for all from September 5, 2019. This also means that the service will not ‘effectively’ be free anymore – all existing and new customers will now have to choose a tariff plan to use Reliance Jio Fiber broadband service post September 5, 2019. A full list of tariffs will be made available closer to availability.
As with all things Jio, its Jio Fiber broadband service will also be bundled with a host of additional benefits, including free voice calls across India and subscriptions to most premium OTT (content streaming) platforms. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. As with all things Jio, its Jio Fiber broadband service also seems to be too-good-to-be-true – as far as the price to features proposition is concerned. A basic Jio Fiber broadband service plan for instance will cost Rs 700 per month and will get you 100Mbps Internet (this should be unlimited, although Jio doesn’t categorically mention that just yet) along with a landline phone connection and a digital set-top-box “at no additional cost.”
Here’s the complete breakdown of Reliance Jio Fiber broadband service in 10 points.
- Reliance Jio Fiber is the commercial name of Jio GigaFiber, a home broadband service that Reliance Industries Limited has been beta testing in India (in localities with the highest interest) for over a year now. The service has been in use in more than 5 lakh homes, making it “the largest beta program in India,” Mukesh Ambani said during his keynote presentation, adding that “these trial homes on average are consuming more than 100GB per month and this usage is increasing with each passing day.”
- With the service now ready for end-users, Jio plans to reach 20 million homes and 15 million businesses, in nearly 1,600 towns across India.
- Reliance Jio Fiber will offer speeds from 100Mbps to 1Gbps, starting at Rs 700 per month going all the way to Rs 10,000 per month. Customers will be able to opt for monthly and annual plans depending on their usage.
- At its heart will be the Jio set-top-box (although the service will also be bundled with a landline phone connection). Jio’s home-grown set-top-box promises “unparalleled” access to ultra-high-definition entertainment, virtual reality content, multi-party video conferencing, voice search, interactive gaming, home security and “many other smart-home solutions.” This set-top-box will also pave way for Jio’s upcoming Internet-of-Things (IoT) services, set to commercially launch on January 1, 2020.
- Two main selling points of Jio’s set-top-box will be multi-party video conferencing and interactive gaming. The set-top-box will allow customers to video conference (with as many as four people) from home and all of this will be device agnostic – meaning, customers will be able to video chat across phone, tablet, laptop, and TV, with minimal latency. The set-top-box also supports all gaming controllers, “console-like” multiplayer online gameplay in 4K, and games from Tencent, Gameloft and Microsoft.
- As for the television part, the Jio set-top-box will support broadcast cable TV signals from over 30,000 LCOs (that RIL got access to, through its acquisition of controlling stakes in Hathway, DEN and GTPL earlier in the year). And for those into content streaming, the set-top-box will be bundled with subscriptions to most premium OTT platforms.
- Premium customers will also get to watch movies on the same day as their theater release, directly at home, come mid-2020 – Jio is calling it Jio First-Day-First-Show.
- Coming to the phone bit, the Jio Fiber broadband service will offer free voice calls to any Indian operator (mobile/fixed) for free for life. Jio has also separately announced an unlimited international calling pack at Rs 500 per month, to US and Canada, besides claiming that the “default tariffs on your Jio home phone will be one-fifth to one-tenth of existing industry tariffs.”
- Jio will offer a free HD/4K LED TV and a 4K set-top-box to all customers who opt for its Jio Forever Annual plans under the “Jio Fiber Welcome Offer.”
- Jio has further announced a new door-step Jio Postpaid Plus service to “deliver a platinum-grade service and product experience,” so existing and new customers can be seamlessly migrated to Jio services like Jio Fiber.
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