It is no secret that Jio is working on a new broadband service that will compliment its wireless Jio 4G across India. The India Today Tech in the past confirmed that this service would be called JioFiber and that it would be rolled out in select cities in the coming months. Today, we have some exclusive information on Reliance plans and can share some more details about the JioFiber and what all the company is preparing for its broadband service.
The idea behind the JioFiber is similar to what the idea behind the Jio 4G is — offer cheap and fast internet connection, change the market and acquire customers. The India Today Tech has learnt that although there is no specific launch date that the company has in mind for the JioFiber, this service too will be offered to consumers in the way Jio 4G was rolled out. This means currently Reliance is testing the JioFiber by providing its connections to select customers and Reliance employees.
Currently, the Indian Today Tech can confirm that the service is being tested in five cities. Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai are the three major cities where the JioFiber trials are going right now. In addition, Reliance is also testing it in Jamnagar, which is kind of a hometown for the company, and Pune.
As noted earlier, there are no specifics on the launch data on JioFiber because Jio is still finalising the plans and a lot depends on how the trials go. But the plans are now in advanced stages and the company is so confident that recently it shared JioFiber details with some delegates at a fiber connection-related conference in Delhi. For the Jio 4G, Reliance had started similar trials with the company employees way back in late 2015. But it took the company over 6 months before it expanded the trials, and almost a year before the Jio Preview Offer was made available to public.
Earlier in its quarterly financial statement, Reliance noted that it was gearing up to roll out the JioFiber soon in India.
JioFiber price and plans
While launch date remains a mystery, India Today Tech has other details. The name of the JioFiber rollout plan has been finalised along with other details. It will be called JioFiber Preview Offer and consumers will be given it for 3 months (90 days) for absolutely free of cost.
As part of the offer, consumers will get 100GB data per month at the speed of 100mbps. After consumers have finished consuming this data, their speed will reduce to 1mbps but internet will continue to work. In that ways, the JioFiber Preview Offer aims to give users unlimited data, although at a reduced speed of 1mbps.
Along with the data, consumers will also get complimentary access to various Jio services, including 5GB cloud storage. In its brochure that the company has prepared for JioFiber, it says, that JioFiber will be “India’s first and only 100 per cent fiber video optimised network” that will enable users to access “ultra-high speed internet at fingertips”.
One important bit to note here is that even though the broadband service will be free for 90 days, there will be one-time refundable installation fee of Rs 4500 that consumers will have to pay to get the JioFiber. This money will be refunded to users in case they decide to not continue the JioFiber once the free promotion ends.
As part of the package, JioFiber users will also get dual-band Wi-Fi routers, which Reliance says will offer “best indoor coverage and connectivity with the Fiber Home Gateway”. The company also says that users will be able to monitor and control their Wi-Fi remotely using a cloud link and that every time a new device connects to Fiber Home Gateway, users will get to know about it on their phone through an app.
Once the JioFiber Preview Offer rolls out — and it won’t be rolling out in all cities in one go like Jio 4G — people interested in it will be able to make a call on a toll free number or will be able to send an email to Jio to get the JioFiber connection for their homes.
Competition too gets ready
Meanwhile, Jio is not the only company that is working to push fiber internet connections. Airtel, which currently dominates India’s broadband market, too is making a push towards high-speed internet connections. Although India’s broadband market has been neglected for years, now there is some movement.
Recently, Airtel announced V-Fibre connections in several cities. Using the same DSL2+ technology that uses telephone wires to deliver internet connection, Airtel is now offering 100mbps plans in select locations. At the same time, the company has worked with builders in several regions to put in place fiber network in housing societies and is now offering 100mbps fiber internet connections in several regions in India at prices that are no different from those charged for slower connections.
India’s broadband internet market is also seeing some new players coming in and offering consumers good internet plans with high-speed connections. One such internet service provider is ACT, which started in south Indian cities but is now aggressively expanding in major cities across India. In March ACT launched India’s first 1gbps connection in Hyderabad, while promising to soon roll out similar plans in other 11 cities where it operates.