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May 2018


Wired Broadband Will Be JIO's Next Frontier - Also Delivering IPTV


"We are still deprived as a nation from a fixed broadband standpoint...we have only about 18 million connected homes in India...we would like to see at least 200 million," Mathew Oommen, president of network, global strategy and service development at Reliance Jio, had said recently at the CNBC's Indian Business Leaders Awards.

Brokerage firm CLSA India expects a ₹ 4,000-crore boost to Reliance's EBITDA in 3 years, from the fiber broadband service alone. The new service may add $5 billion to parent company Reliance Industries' valuation, according to CLSA India.

For TV - Content Is King. For Broadband 'Speed Is King.'

According to TRAI data, only 2,80,000 Indian broadband subscribers have access to a high-speed fibre optic connection.

High speed broadband has remained a lucrative option for Wireline networks, despite JIO's cut-throat rates on mobile data.

 ACT Fibernet 1 Gbps & 1 TB/Month (₹ 5999 + tax)

 Airtel 300 Mbps & 1.2 TB/Month (₹ 2199 + tax)

 JIO (Testing) 100 Mbps & 100 GB/Month (₹ ?)

Fast Wireline Broadband - National Providers


Now JIO plans to disrupt the wireline broadband business in India, with high speed fibre data delivery, at a low price.

Reliance Jio has been conducting trials of ifs wired broadband service in select pockets of Delhi and Mumbai, providing unlimited internet at 100 Mbps. The trials are free. Under the JIO Fiber Preview Offer, the consumer pays a refundable deposit of ₹ 4,500 for the Fibre Broadband Router and receives free service in packets of 28 days / 100 GB data. Package renewals are via the net or mobile phone. With this, JIO is building and testing its infrastructure and billing systems, to ensure a smooth commercial roll out.


Based on its Preview Offer, it seems almost certain that the speed will be 100 Mbps. This download speed is faster than the speed of copying large files to a low-cost USB-2 pen drive!

Recently, Airtel has launched Fibre broadband service at 300 Mbps and 1.2 TB downloads a month for ₹ 2,200 + taxes. The offer seems to target the upper end of the market.

It remains to be seen if JIO will pick up the speed gauntlet from Airtel.


There have been various reports in the press regarding the price at which JIO will launch its fibre broadband.

A senior official however tells us that all these reports are pure speculation. JIO has not yet finalise the price and data packages. It is still collecting information on typical data consumption. Its price will probably significantly undercut existing market rates.

A monthly price of ₹ 400 to 600 is expected.

JIO Fibre Will Support Multiple HD Channels + Broadband Simultaneously


100 Mbps is more than adequate to simultaneously provide High Speed Broadband along with 2 to 3 HD TV channels. Given multiple TV homes any service needs to accommodate delivery of atleast 2 HDTV channels simultaneously for entertainment.


The Jio Fiber Broadband Router also includes a wired telephone output jack, along with 4 Ethernet LAN outputs & WiFi.


We believe that Jio Home TV will not be delivered via cable TV. Instead it will come into homes via IPTV riding on its broadband connection.

The IPTV feed will provide practically every channel available, with the flexibility of pause, rewind and recording of TV content.

Confirmation for an IPTV roll out also came in Reliance Industries quarterly update that it had successfully tested its eMBMS or enhanced Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service, on an All india level. eMBMS is used to broadcast multiple IPTV channels to multiple users, much like Cable TV, rather than the 1 channel to each active user mode of earlier IPTV architecture.

eMBMS is a major step in scalability for large-scale IPTV deployment.

It seems most unlikely that the service which has not yet even commenced public beta trials would have finalised its pricing. However, press reports widely quote a monthly price of ₹ 200 for SD channels & ₹ 400 for HD channels, for the Jio Home TV service.


Everybody wants to know when Jio Fiber will be launched. All reports so far are purely speculative since we are told that the company has not yet taken a firm decision.

However, we believe that Mukesh Ambani will probably declare launch details at the RIL AGM to be held later this year. If not launched soon after the AGM it will almost certainly be launched before the year end ie. Dhirubhai Ambani's birth anniversary on 28th December. n