If data tariffs on mobiles have been headed southwards for more than a year, then no one will doubt that we have jio to thank for it. However, in the whole data game, where Indi leapfrogged to no. 1 in the world on mobile data usage, from an ostensible no. 155 rank, a very important fact has been overlooked. This whole jump is a combination of low mobile data AND poor Wifi penetration and usage. That is why we believe the larger disruption is still to follow. Which would be the entry of Jio into the broadband category with Jio Fibre.
Currently, Jio is testing this service in about 10 cities. The lucky ‘testers’ are now enjoying 100 GB of free data every month. Though initially, it was told that the people who joined the trial phase will avail the broadband service only for three months, chances are that they much like the mobile services, they will get to enjoy it till Jio launches its fixed broadband services.
Normally, the fixed broadband data prices are much lower than the wireless data, a situation that prevailed till mobile data rates headed south. This gives us some idea of how cheap broadband could be when Jio Fiber becomes operational. Other broadband providers, be it DEN Broadband, ACT Fibre etc, have all dropped rates too, offering ever more data at higher speeds. In fact, a curious trend has been an effort to ‘lock in’ customers with extended plans at attractive prices. Plans that need a six-month deposit or even an annual payment are not uncommon.
Airtel has already sensed the same and for several months it is quietly increasing speed as well as offering more data to its broadband users. It is also giving free data if broadband users opt for Airtel postpaid or DTH connection.
Recent history suggests thatJi will hardly allow these efforts to deny it its stated market share goal. The ensuing fight is likely to change the whole concept of how we use TV and internet. Internet TV, which till now is perceived as elite and niche, may become the common thing post-Jio Fiber, backed by both cheap data and content that Jio has been carefully collecting ever since its mobile launch.
The Mukesh Ambani led company is likely to offer both broadband and Internet TV connection via a single connection. This means you may not have to pay for your landline, broadband and cable TV connection separately. With a high chance that you will have an adequate choice of content too before you start looking out.
Reliance Jio acquired the assets of RCom which may help to expedite the launch date of Jio Fiber services.