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GREAT EXPECTATIONS

Reliance rolls out Jio Fiber today. Here’s what’s in it

Niharika Sharma
By Niharika Sharma

Aviation and social media reporter

After a year of beta-testing, telecom operator Reliance Jio will commercially roll out its much anticipated Jio Fiber services today (Sept. 5) across many cities in India.

The Jio Fiber network will go live in the second half of the day, a company source told Quartz.

Apart from the mainstay optical fibre-based internet broadband service, some of its plans come bundled with a fixed-line telephone, a 4K television, set-top box, and internet-of-things (IoT) services, among other things, according to the company.

Monthly plans for Jio Fiber start from Rs700 (around $10) for a 100Mbps internet connection with data allotment of 100GB, and speeds can go up to 1Gbps in more expensive plans.

At its 42nd annual general meeting (AGM) in August, Reliance Industries (RIL), the oil-to-retail conglomerate that owns Reliance Jio, unveiled the “Fiber Welcome Offer.” Under the introductory scheme, customers who avail the premium Jio Forever annual plan will get a Full HD TV or a Home PC alongside a 4K set-top box.

The set-top box will allow Jio Fiber users to access television services and also enjoy a console-like gaming experience. It also comes with features like virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR).

Jio is also offering a “First Day First Show” service for some Jio Fiber customers. “From the second half of 2020, premium Jio Fiber customers will get to watch new movies on the day of its release,” RIL chairman, and India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani said at the AGM.

Jio Fiber is expected to hit India’s direct-to-home (DTH) players, according to a Bank of America Merrill Lynch report published in August. “DTH companies could be most vulnerable to RIL’s bundled broadband as it will offer dual services of cable and the internet,” the report stated.

However, experts said it won’t affect television services. “I don’t see any value destruction in TV service. Having said that, there is a strategy of acquiring subscribers through hardware, which will put pressure on DTH players like Airtel and Tata Sky,” Rajiv Sharma, co-head of institutional research at SBICAP Securities, told The Economic Times newspaper.

Jio Fiber has received over 15 million registrations in the past year from nearly 1,600 towns in India, according to RIL.

If you plan to explore what Jio Fiber has to offer, here are a few things to keep in mind:

How to apply? To avail the services, first you need to register on the official website gigafiber.jio.com.

Is the service available in my city? Currently, the connections are available in multiple cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Surat, Vadodara, Chennai, Noida, Ghaziabad, Bhubaneshwar, Varanasi, Allahabad, Bengaluru, Surat, Agra, Meerut, Vishakapatnam,, Lucknow, Jamshedpur, Haridwar, Gaya, Patna, Port Blair, and Punjab.

The services will gradually expand to other parts of the country as well.

What additional services will it offer? Jio Fiber will let its subscribers watch over the top (OTT) media services for free. While the OTT platforms that will be available for streaming have not been named so far, subscribers will be able to enjoy JioCinema, JioTV, and JioSaavn.

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