Wednesday, 21 August, 2019

Jio subscriber base at over 340 million: Mukesh Ambani

Akash Ambani and Isha Ambani demonstrate features of Reliance's virtual reality headset called Mixed Reality device Akash Ambani and Isha Ambani demonstrate features of Reliance's virtual reality headset called Mixed Reality device
Russell Knight | 12 August, 2019, 10:28

During the June quarter, the Average Revenue per user (ARPU) for Reliance Jio-which unleashed one of the most brutal price wars in India's telecom market-was at Rs 122 per subscriber per month. To recall, Jio GigaFiber has been in testing since 2016, despite only being announced last month.

"(This is) the biggest foreign investment in the history of Reliance", Mr Ambani said. "The potential for growth is enormous and half a billion customers, is now I believe well within our reach", he said. The company will also be streaming the event on Facebook on official RIL and Jio pages.

Ambani's entry into the broadband-cum-cable TV business is expected to shake up broadband and cable TV pricing in India. In smaller cities, the speed falls to about 10-20 Mbps for the same tariff.

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According to Merrill Lynch, from U.S. brokerage firm Bank of America, Reliance Jio GigaFiber could launch with at least three data plans, starting at Rs 500 per month. As per the market reports, Jio could also launch Rs 600 "Triple Play" combo plan offering unlimited voice, unlimited data, the Jio Home IPTV service, premium Jio apps and broadband connection. This means that the broadband component is being priced at just around Rs 250 per month. More details will be revealed at the event.

It is expected to lead to massive consolidation in the sector, which now has an estimated 10,000 or so cable operators and around half a dozen DTH services. Today Jio customer base stands at over 340 million. The company is now in the process of upgrading its customers from copper to fiber to compete with Jio GigaFiber. Users will, however, have to pay a security security deposit of ₹4,500 to get an ONT device (GigaHub Home Gateway), which acts as a router, to get access to broadband services. Reliance Jio GigaFiber is said to disrupt the broadband space with low-priced tariffs and bundles that give access to GigaTV service and Jio's premium suite of apps.

Barely a month ago, Ambani said trials of the new service have been "very encouraging".

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