Reliance Jio to roll out fibre-to-home services

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Mumbai:  Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (RJio) unleashed the next phase of disruption that could maul existing Internet and cable service providers.

On Thursday, the newest telecom player announced the rollout of its fibre-to-home broadband network—JioGigaFiber—to offer services to homes and businesses across 1,100 cities.

“We will now use fibre connectivity to homes, merchants, small and medium enterprises and large enterprises simultaneously across 1,100 cities to offer the most advanced fibre-based broadband connectivity solutions,” said Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), RJio’s parent firm.

Addressing shareholders at RIL’s AGM here, Ambani said India fared poorly in the fixed line broadband market due to poor infrastructure and RJio will take India to the top five in fixed-line broadband services globally.

It could disrupt the market, triggering a tariff war, much like what the telecom sector witnessed last year when RJio entered the fray. Much like the consolidation in the telecom industry, the Internet and cable services sector too could see incumbent players joining hands to fight the might of RJio.

Following Thursday’s announcement, shares of Hathway Cable, Siti Networks, and Den Networks plunged on BSE, stoking fears of a looming tariff war.
Currently, data usage of Indian telecom subscribers is far from the potential and is also the biggest revenue source for all players. However, higher tariffs prevented operators from cashing in, though that changed significantly following RJio’s entry.
As per estimates, subscribers use 2 GB data every month as against 0.23 GB prior to RJio, which now intends to further boost the usage via its fibre network offering.

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