Mukesh Ambani during Reliance Industries' 41st Annual General Meeting Image: Twitter
After shaking mobile telephony with free voice calls and dirt cheap data, Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio on Thursday unveiled an ultra high-speed fixed line fibre broadband, dubbed GigaFiber, for homes and enterprises across 1,100 cities. The company also officially announced the JioPhone 2 — the successor to the affordable JioPhone 4G featurephone launched last year. Ambani also revealed that Jio is working on a hybrid offline-online retail platform which will rival the likes of Amazon and Flipkart.
Ambani also made a number of other announcements at Reliance Industries' 41st Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday, including the revelation that Reliance will also be coming out with a slew of smart home accessories such as TV cameras, plugs, doorbells, Wi-Fi extender, etc.
Ambani also said Jio has accumulated over 200 million subscribers within just 22 months of launch and continues to grow at a rapid rate. Here are some of the big announcements from the RIL AGM.
Jio GigaFiber broadband
The highlight of the event was the announcement of the ultra high-speed GigaFiber services in more than 1000 cities across the country. Even industry body Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI) has opined that the service can be a 'game changer' for the country.
GigaFiber will replace Jio's existing JioFiber services and will be available at a much larger scale. Ambani didn't reveal any exact launch dates for the service but said customers can start registering for the fixed line broadband on MyJio app and the Jio website starting August 15. The service will provide high-speed Internet, ultra high definition entertainment on large screen TVs, multi-party video conferencing, voice-activated virtual assistance, virtual reality gaming and digital shopping as well as smart home solutions. Priority for installing the last-mile infrastructure will depend on the volume of interest from a particular area.
Jio GigaFiber will offer ultimate broadband experience to surf, stream, game and work, because of its ultra-fast upload and download speeds and effective functioning in milliseconds, according to Jio.
It will come directly to homes unlike in most cases where the fibre reaches only until the building and the last few metres of end connectivity is done using the traditional cable, which drastically reduces the speed and user experience due to patches and inferior cable qualities of such patch up.
The add-on service, connected to the GigaFiber, will bring Direct to Home (DTH) cable services directly to your home. Users will be provided with a Jio GigaTV set-top box. The device can be connected to a large screen TV, enabling subscribers to watch over 600 TV channels, thousands of movies and millions of songs and other content, at any time. Jio is offering 1Gbps data speed with the connection.
"You can now enjoy all your entertainment content at ultra-high definition...This is like having a theatre in your home...," Akash Ambani, director of Reliance Jio said.
The service is expected to provide stiff competition to existing DTH services such as TATA Sky, Airtel TV, Hathaway, etc.
Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani also announced the second-generation JioPhone with added features like QWERTY keypad and messaging services such as WhatsApp, Facebook, and YouTube. The phone will be available for booking from August 15 for Rs 2,999. This would be in addition to the JioPhone, which will continue to be available on a payment of a Rs 1,500 refundable security deposit.
WhatsApp and YouTube support was also confirmed for both the JioPhone 2 and the original JioPhone.
JioPhone Monsoon Hungama Offer
Ambani also announced an offer under which users can exchange their old featurephone and pay just Rs 501 to get a brand new JioPhone. The offer will be live starting July 21.
Hybrid retail platform
To complement the firm's retail business, Reliance is working on an online-to-offline e-commerce platform to make it the shopping destination for India.
"As Reliance transitions to become a technology platform company, we see our biggest growth opportunity in creating a hybrid, online-to-offline new commerce platform. We shall create this by integrating and synergising the power of Reliance Retail's physical marketplace with the fabulous strengths of Jio's digital infrastructure and services," Ambani said.
Jio Smart Home Accessories
A host of home appliances, which can be controlled through the MyJio app was also announced at the event. Appliances such as TV cameras, plugs, doorbells, Wi-Fi extenders, door sensors, video doorbells and much more will help automate homes around the country.
(With inputs from PTI)