Reliance Jio GigaFiber to offer broadband, landline and TV combo for ₹600 ($8.6) in India
Reliance Jio GigaFiber was announced in July 2018 after an extended period of beta testing across several major Indian cities. While the initial announcement did not make any claims with regards to the speeds that will be offered, previous reports had claimed that the service could provide up to 1 GBps speeds, allowing customers to use services such as UHD media, multi-party video conferencing, VR gaming and much more. Jio GigaFiber was expected to cause a disruption in India’s broadband market, much like how Jio did for the telecom sector — making it vital in providing cheap, fast and abundant data to a large population of the country. Now, Reliance Jio GigaFiber’s first pricing plans have been revealed through reliable sources, and indeed, it does appear to be the disruptor that India’s broadband market needs.
According to LiveMint, Reliance Jio GigaFiber will offer a broadband-landline-TV combo service for as low as ₹600 ($8.6) per month. Additional facilities, plus the ability to connect at least 40 devices to a smart home network, will bring this bill up to ₹1,000 ($14.33) per month.
At the moment, Reliance Jio is pilot-testing its GigaFiber services in cities like New Delhi and Mumbai, providing 100 GB of data at a speed of 100 MBps for free (customers do have to pay a one-time deposit of ₹4,500 for the proprietary router). Jio will add telephone and television services to this within the next three months. The landline services will come with unlimited calling facility, while television services will be delivered through IPTV. All three services will remain free for about a year when the service will be commercially rolled out, showing a strategy similar to that adopted by Jio for its telecom network.
“All these offerings will be powered through an ONT (Optical Network Terminal) box router which can connect 40-45 devices such as mobile phones, smart TVs, laptops, tablets and a range of smart devices. While the triple combo—which will offer 600 channels with seven-day catch-up option, landline and 100 MBps broadband—will be priced ₹600 a month, the tariff for adding other smart home services may cost extra and depending on the plan, the tariff could go up to ₹1,000 a month”
India’s wired broadband market is a highly under-penetrated market. As of February 2019, India had only 18.29 Million wired broadband users, which is in stark contrast to the 531.54 Million mobile subscribers. The mobile data revolution caused by Jio was responsible in bringing several Million Indians online for the first time; now, the wired data revolution by Jio GigaFiber is expected to keep them online and invested in more internet-services.
For the sake of comparison, I personally pay ₹500 per month for a 10MBps broadband connection through a local company, and pay separately for TV and have no landline (would have to pay separately again). Getting a combined offer for all three services, with 10x the speed, and without varying my monthly cost, would easily persuade me and others like me to immediately jump ship to Jio GigaFiber. However, GigaFiber is not without its own cons. Past reports have indicated that Jio had incidents wherein it blocked off access to Reddit, porn, Telegram, SoundCloud, and even proxy websites. Jio GigaFiber is also accused of deep packet inspection, Carrier Grade NAT, poor IPv6 practices, a locked down router and having poor customer care services. With the cons in mind, customers will have to decide for themselves if the vast difference in pricing is worth the rest of the trouble.