Scatmag.com

January 2020

JIO FIBER STARTS BILLING USERS


The days of free home broadband for JioFiber users are over.

Reliance Jio Infocomm has started billing new customers and is asking existing users to select home broadband packs. The move will hopefully bring in much needed revenue to JIO.


NEW USERS MUST PAY

All new JioFiber customers, who have put in the ₹ 2,500 refundable deposit, are now being charged in the big metro markets.

These consumers are also being given JIO STBs that are hoped to increase data consumption by consumers, further boosting JIO Fiber broadband revenues.





TARIFF PLANS

JioFiber's monthly pre-paid plans range from ₹ 825 to ₹ 10,028 including 18% GST. They offer max speeds ranging from 100 Mbps to 1Gbps. The plans are bundled with services such free voice calls, and use of the JIO STB.


HIGH PRICE - POOR RESPONSE

JIO Fiber's pre paid plans are priced quite high. (See Table 1)

Reliable reports indicate that after JIO has been demanding that all new pre-paid users must first opt for and pay for a prepaid plan, 65% of those who had requested the service have declined it.

It remains to be seen if JIO will revise its JIO Fiber prepaid plans.


New Connections Have Reportedly Fallen By 70% After JIO Fiber Has Commenced Charging For The Service!



JIO STB

JIO Fiber offers an STB & Wi-Fi Router with every Fiber broadband connection. The STB is not available separately. The JIO STB offers video with up to 4K resolution, depending on resolution of the video fed to it.

A key issue is that the JIO STB does not directly provide live TV channels.


Unlike A Cable TV STB, The JIO STB Does Not Directly Offer Live TV Channels


The JIO STB offers access to third-party OTT apps like Hotstar, Zee5 etc.


The JIO STB's Purpose Is To Increase Data Consumption, Thereby Migrating Consumers To Higher Cost Data Plans


It does not offer the JIO TV app available to JIO SIM card subscribers. The JIO STB only offers access to only JioSaavn, JioCinema apps, that too only if you opt for the Bronze or higher broadband plan.


ALL PLANS WITH DATA CAP

While JIO Fiber's data plans boast 'unlimited usage' each plan has a relatively modest (compared to competition) Fair Usage Policy (FUP) monthly limit. After the FUP limit is exceeded, data speed falls to 1 Mbps, a limit that will not support video delivery.


WIRED BROADBAND MARKET

India's wired broadband market is tiny - just 21.49 million customers, of which half are with state-run BSNL & MTNL. Airtel had 2.35 million wired broadband users in the September 2019.

TRAI data says 0.84 million users have signed up for its JIO Fiber's initial free trial.



Jio has set an ambitious target to service 20 million homes and 16 million enterprises across 1,600 towns within the next 18 months. However, JIO Fiber's service is priced quite high, so consumers may not readily shift to the service.

Further, roll out to new users is a labour-intensive exercise, and 1 installation team is unlikely to provide more than 6 connections per working day. Hence providing 36 million new fiber connections within the next 18 months (1,00,000 new connections per working day) could prove to be a very difficult challenge. n