On the 5th July, in Reliance Industries Limited’s 41st Annual General Meeting, Mukesh Ambani announced the launching of his new brainchild the Jio GigaFiber, an ultra-high speed fixed line broadband service for homes and enterprises. Their target is to gain a clientele of 50 million in 1,100 cities across India. The registrations will commence on 15th August and will be done through their app or website.
Unlike any existing broadband or DTH service, the Jio GigaFiber will enable high definition videos, voice calls, video calls, virtual gaming, online shopping and even smart-home services. If this is not intriguing enough, it also has the feature of voice-activated commands and can be connected to any mobile or GigaTV across the country. The customer will be provided with a GigaFiber router and a set-top box and a fixed line phone, which will be installed free of cost.
Jio GigaFiber – A Threat to Cable TV Business?
Though the ambitious target that Ambani has set for Jio GigaFiber looks threatening to the existing broadband and DTH services and GigaFiber has the ability to outbid both these sectors. It’s unlikely to impact the traditional cable TV business. Because tier 2 and tier 3 cities are still using cable tv extensively and the base cable TV feature is more enticing and essential to them than the other services such as broadband or high-speed internet for that matter.
Biggies in Damage Control Mode
In an attempt to minimize the upcoming damage, companies such as Airtel and MTNL are attempting to prevent the loss of clients. Bharti Airtel has already reduced its prices for broadband services and is even offering customers unlimited data by removing its fair usage policy (FUP) limits for its broadband customers. Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) is now offering free 3G connection and data up to 10 GB with its broadband connection. But these offers will be in vain if Jio GigaFiber has more reasonable or enticing offers.
With its 600 channels, high-definition quality and high-speed network, GigaFiber will also look to take a big bite in the online entertainment business and might become a probably the largest multi-system operator and television distributor. Some online entertainment companies are announcing a partnership with Jio for a win-win deal.
The real question is whether the customer will take the leap of faith and give up their previous services for the promising Jio GigaFiber. Though Reliance was successful in bagging customers when it came to its mobile services, it will be more challenging in this case.