After challenging the wireless telecom market in India, Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd is now having an eye on the wired broadband connection. The industry sources reveal that the company is planning to announce the launch of Jio’s wired broadband service on 28th December, the birthday of late Dhirubhai Ambani.
The company has already started beta trials for their fiber optic broadband service in some of the metropolitans like Mumbai, Delhi etc. Jio is now offering unlimited internet connection at 100 Mbps against a nominal 4,500 Rupees of security deposit.
Mathew Oommen, the president of service development, networking and global strategy at Reliance Jio informed at a recent award function that though Jio has approximately 168 million wireless mobile internet users, the company aims to connect 200 million homes to the wired broadband internet service.
According to the Telcom Regulatory Authority of India, the wired internet users in India as on 31st December 2017 is only 21.28 million while the number of wireless internet users is 424.67 million. TRAI also reports that the data usage has increased per user per month from 878 MB to 1,945 MB within a year and Reliance Jio is hoping to utilize this rise in data usage.
The wired internet service is known to provide better internet services when compared with wireless connections. However, at the same time installing the fiber optics is tough and also more expensive, which is why the Indian telcos have focused on the wireless and not wired. Indian telcos also face the huge issue of Right of Way (RoW), which involves getting clearances from multiple Government agencies adding to the cost and time of the project.
However as the market matures and people demand a better quality of services, wired is going to become more crucial and important for the telcos. The wired segment is also important is handling the demands of the enterprise segment which is more lucrative than the retail market in the country.
Though Airtel has been providing wired internet connection with up to 100 Mbps speed, it has targeted only some limited regions from where a good revenue can be earned. However, Reliance Jio is planning to take the internet game up a notch by offering wired internet connection at an affordable price across India. As stated by TRAI, Reliance Jio holds 35.9% of the internet market share even though it hasn’t yet formally introduced its wired internet connection.