Almost 4 years ago I wrote about the effect of Jio on mobile internet. The entire digital ecosystem in benefited in a big way from Reliance Jio. Every internet venture in India saw a huge surge in their mobile traffic, which unfortunately did not translate to an increase in revenues in the same proportion.
Will JioFiber drastically increase the number of new internet users or will it just increase digital consumption amongst the existing internet user base (a household switching from Airtel Broadband to Jio Fiber)?
|Total||566 million||627 million|
The launch of Jio Fiber has been in the news for a very long time, maybe for more than 18 months. I recall registering on their website for Jio Fiber connection over a year ago (there was no communication after registration, not good). During the Reliance AGM the launch of JioFiber was announced, the offerings sounded very impressive.
Today (Sept 5), after a long wait the details of the plans were announced. Earlier the only details that were given were the price range – Rs 700 to Rs 10,000 – that is one wide band for a consumer to digest.
The registration process for JioFiber is bad
- When you visit the homepage, jio.com, do you find an EASY way to review the plans?
- I see a big splash of “Book Now”, but shouldn’t the various plans be visible? (Update: The website has since been updated but this is bad planning)
- I cannot register today on jio.com, to begin with, it assumes I live in Mumbai. The registration form forces me to choose the address of the house opposite my house!
- By moving the PIN around I managed to locate my house. But Jio says the address is invalid!
- Did Jio miss out on creating their promotional videos in Indian languages? I didn’t see any tweets in multiple Indian languages.
For a big corporate such as Jio, the entire registration process on the launch day should have been smooth. Companies in India have to pay a lot more attention to User Experience.
JioFiber Plans Not Published
Only media houses have received the press release but the details are not on their website, just doesn’t make sense. Features of JioFiber,
- JioFiber to be launched in 1,600 cities (fantastic)
- Minimum speed of 100 Mbps (+ve feature)
- Rs 699 package will be the most popular (150GB download/month will meet the requirement of majority households)
- Free voice calls in India (people have moved from landline to mobile in India, competitors too give free landline calls with broadband)
- 4K TV Setup box (will their multi-box price be far cheaper than TataSky?)
- Home Gateway (for annual plans, what is this?)
- Free OTT apps (few plans will include subscription, no details released!)
- Virtual Reality experience (+ve feature, something new)
- Gaming (a problem for parents to get their kids to focus on education!)
- Home networking (don’t have many details)
- First Day First Show (PVR, INOX must be in arms)
One of the main reasons people were looking forward to JioFiber’s plans was due to the bundling of features – Jio Mobile + JioFiber + TV Setup Box. For now, it is difficult to make a judgement as the complete details are yet to be announced.
Outcome of JioFiber
- Consumers of online classes (MOOC) may experience a better quality of streaming.
- Working remotely may increase (this has a lot of positives though I think people should network in person)
- Will it help people be more informed (health, education, news, investment in markets)?
- Tele-medicine will reach new parts of India
- Consumption of entertainment will increase, but more people watching Netflix, Hotstar, Prime Video is not exactly what will help the country
- Digitization in India is a reality, the consumption of digital will rise (depending on how soon JioFiber will be available in 1,600 cities)
- In offices that service consumers (banks, other govt offices) I think efficiency can improve with fast internet
- The digital startup ecosystem will benefit from JioFiber
Time has come for us to look forward to real impact when such big product launches happen – talking always about “video consumption will increase” is not exciting & useful. But the onus of making the outcome of a new infrastructural product useful is on the entrepreneurial ecosystem, not Jio’s.
India has approximately 18 million fixed-line broadband subscribers. Of this, Airtel has 2.3 million subscribers. India has about 25m affluent homes. Jio has revised its target from 50m to 20m, expected to achieve in 5 years. Jio’s price plan is not far lower than its competitors. Their bundled plan was supposed to be the game-changer but I don’t see any bundled plans (broadband + landline + DTH + mobile international roaming).