Since the time Reliance Jio started its journey in 2016, the company has brought a rapid change in the telecom industry of India. Jio’s journey is the stuff legends are made of. It disrupted the market by coming up with free 4G services for the first six months of the launch. It led to a massive consolidation in the industry with a total wipeout of smaller telecom service providers, like Aircel, Telenor and Videocon. Further Vodafone India and Idea were forced to merge to be in a better position to fight the competition from Jio.
Besides, the company itself has also developed significantly. The subscriber base of Reliance Jio was over 250 million in 2018. Let’s find out what can be expected from the company in 2019.
Reliance Jio unveiled its broadband service, Jio GigaFiber, in July 2018 in its annual general meeting. However, the service is yet to be launched extensively. Jio has rolled out the service in some cities and will be launched depending on the response that the company got from the internet users. It is hoped that the complete launch of the service will be done within the first quarter of 2019.
Jio hopes to disrupt the home broadband segment with this service. Airtel and other players in this segment are likely to face tough competition from Jio.
VoWIFI is the short form of voice over WiFi. Reliance Jio may launch the voice over WiFi service this year. Thus, the telecom operators can stay connected with their users even in case the cellular data is not connected. The company has been trying the service since last year July. Presently, it has launched the service in some states.
In the annual general meeting of 2019, it is expected that Jio will come up with its GigaTV platform. The company will use its bandwidth from the growing fibre network that it has. This will allow Jio to offer 4K supported TV channels.
Jio has already caused the telecom sector to consolidate in the past. This year, the company can disturb the market of enterprise services. Jio is in talks with Cisco about the partnership of the two companies for enterprise services. It is hoped that the services will be launched by the end of 2019.
Most of the telcos are looking at enterprise market because the retail consumer segment is getting saturated. Enterprise also is more lucrative segment. One thing is certain that Jio’s entry will expand this market and the competition will heat up this segment. Airtel, Vodafone Idea and BSNL will be fighting a tough battle to retain the market
Jio is likely to be the first operator to launch 5G services in the country. The reason is simple. It has the newest network with the latest equipment. The IP-enabled network is best placed to launch 5G services in India. In comparison, Airtel has legacy network and will need to invest a lot to upgrade. On the other hand, Vodafone and Idea are still grappling with a number of merger issues, which is likely to take some time.