The most talked about news in the past week has been the launch of Reliance Jio. The most expensive startup in the world has finally been launched by Mr. Mukesh Ambani. It has been a $20 billion investment.
If you did not have the time to read about it, here are some facts that will help you make understand the concept better.
1. Free services till 31st December 2016
From September 5th 2016, anyone can register for the SIM and enjoy free services till 31st December. The plans were launched and available on company website. As rightly quoted by Mr. Ambani this facility will be a nightmare for Bharti Airtel, who leads the telecom market currently. It will provide free voice calls to its active users with no hidden charges.
The roaming will be free for Reliance Jio customers as mentioned by Mr. Ambani. This will be quite a relief for the companies and individuals as well. Follow the link to learn about them.
2. Tariff plan starts at Rs. 19 and at 1/10th cost
Things could not get crazier than this. Jio has 10 plans starting at Rs. 19 a day for occasional users, Rs 149 for monthly users and 4999 for excessive data users. This seems like a good option for the NRIs who come to India and want to use a facility for a month or a few days.
The 4G LTE option at Rs 50 per GB can be safely quoted as the cheapest in the world. Every plan comes with a night usage between 2:00 am to 4:30 am. This exempts the basic plan which has the validity of 28 days.
3. Jio supports the 4G speed only
The company supports only the 4G speed connectivity. Although, it can undertake 5G and 6G as well. It aims to offer customers the downloading speed of 135 Mbps. The places where the services will be available remains unclear.
4. LTE all the way
RIL is going to use LTE technology but all the phones will not support it. This comes a bad news for iPhone users. RIL and Intex 2005 came together in 2015 for 4G enabled services with VOLTE – Voice over LTE. Reliance has launched new smartphones under the brand name LYF. The models which have come in the market are Water1, 2, Earth1 and Flame 1.
5. Entertainment under Rs. 15,000
The entire bundle includes voice on demand, music streaming platform and live TV services. This will allow you to view the previous shows missed on TV. The plans are not clear at the moment but only that it will cost around Rs. 15,000.
6. Only Aadhaar card needed for activation
Ambani noted that customers had to wait in long queues in order to get the SIM card in the first place than activating it another a day. This was killing the enthusiasm and eventually people preferred to stay put. But with eKYC, as also used by Vodafone and Airtel, anyone who has an Aadhaar card can simply walk into the store and the SIM will be activated in 15 minutes.
7. Wi-Fi spots in the city
By 2017, Reliance plans to have a million hotspots in the city offering 4G. Let’s take an example here, if a customer already has a 4GB, he/she will get 8GB of Wi-Fi access. In conclusion, whatever plan you have taken, an additional data will be provided on the Wi-Fi spots. Reliance Jio plans to cover 90% of India by 2017. Ambani claims that it covers 18,000 cities and towns including 2 lakh villages.
So, will it live up to the hype?
That still remains to be seen as many cynics believe it will not live up to the hype. Current users are already facing call drop challenges and appalling data speed that does not even match the 3G standard. Mr. Ambani has confirmed that there were 5 crore call failures in the last week.
The company seems to be locked in the dispute with offices on the point of interconnect. He has accused them of not providing sufficient interconnections during test run services. This matter currently has been undertaken by TRAI and DoT. Hence, Mr. Ambani seems to be providing free services until 31st December so that all the bugs can be removed.
What about other providers?
Definitely, service providers like Airtel and Vodafone will have to really work on the costs in order to be in the race. They will for sure aim for gaining big bucks to compete with Jio. Giving data at a cheap cost is one thing, but providing voice calls free is throwing something completely new in the mix.