Reliance Jio next big plan: Disrupt market with 1Gbps broadband service
Reliance Jio recently launched the wireless 4G services in India. So far the overall performance of the Jio 4G has been mixed. Some argue – or rather argued in the initial weeks that followed the launch – that it is the best thing that ever happened in India’s 4G scene. But of late, not many people are saying nice things about the service because the data speed is down and a few other other issues continue to plague it, although it is still in beta (testing phase) and the commercial launch is still weeks away. But the problems — real or perceived — with the Jio 4G are not deterring the company. Even as it works to fix the Jio 4G, it is also working on newer services, which it hopes will help it gain even more momentum in the market. One of these services is 1Gbps wired broadband service.
Although there is no definite timeline when Reliance Jio rolls out the new services, including the wired broadband, the company has already started testing some of those in select areas across country. Let’s see what all Reliance Jio has to offer in possibly the next one year.
Fiber To The Home (FTTH)
The biggest plan of the company is based on its FTTH service, for which it had started working about a decade ago. Reliance has already laid down fibre optics cables across most of the country. You must have seen those huge machines putting down cables in the earth, those were early days of Jio. Or you may have seen those manholes that have ‘RJIL’ written on those.
With the FTTH service the company expects to bring up to 1Gbps speed to wired broadband internet in India. Sounds exciting, right? It is. Some earlier reports had also suggested that Jio is working on FTTH services. As we said there is no definite timeline for this, but we expect it to be announced in next six or seven months. And if Jio 4G SIM’s plans and pricing are any indicator, the FTTH broadband is going to be troubling for the current market players.
The possibility of 1Gbps speed opens so many doors to as many opportunities. With the connection, the customers will get a set-top box, an Android smartbox, which could be Nvidia Shield or something similar. And with such a speed it will promise 4K videos everywhere.
The set-top box for JioTV also works as a router. And it will be able to connect 44 devices at one time. The Jio TV service will offer 350 channels including about 50 in HD. The service will save all the TV content for seven days. No, the users won’t have to worry about the storage. All these shows and films will be stored in a Jio servers. It does sound quite ambitious, but we will have a clearer picture in the coming months.
Another app Jio MediaShare is also in the pipeline. As the name suggests, it shares media across devices. In simpler words you can connect five devices, which could be TV, laptops, desktop and mobile phones, to play the same media on them. The service will also allow real-time switch from one device to other without losing the movie’s progress. This means if you are watching a film on your laptop, you can push it to your TV in a different room and watch it from where you left.
The FTTH is not just about DTH and broadband services. It also plans to move towards Internet of Things. The company plans to offer devices to create a smart home. These include security systems, motion sensors, doorbells with camera and speakers, fire detectors, smoke detectors and much more.
When Reliance Jio announced its Jio 4G tariffs, it included some data offerings under the Jio Public Wi-Fi. The company is already testing the public Wi-Fi in some parts of Mumbai. It will soon be made available to other areas.
With the public Wi-Fi, Reliance Jio expects to deliver connectivity to its users 24/7. While the users are connected to internet through the Jio SIM inside a building, they will instantly connect to the public Wi-Fi once they step out. Since the commercial tariff will be active from January 1, 2017, we expect the company to have a plan by then.
Reliance Jio plans to add more apps to its My Jio service while improving upon that are already there. We will also see a Connected Car module, which is a small module that can be attached to OBD (on board diagnostics) port under your car’s dashboard. It will offer Wi-Fi inside the car along with offering many other controls to the user from his smartphone.
While all this sounds like a dream come true, we have our apprehensions regarding the speed. Jio’s speed has been coming down since Sept 5. It is not to say that the Jio 4G speed is bad for all. But users have reported speeds that fluctuate a lot. Since all of Reliance Jio’s plans are powered by an incredibly fast internet, we will have to wait and see how it all unfolds. For now it looks like “achhe din aane wale hain”, but to actually see how good they will be, we will have to wait a little more.