With around eight months remaining for the BWA rollout obligations to kick in, it seems like Reliance Industries’ data services venture Reliance Jio is finally getting ready for a commercial launch in India.
Earlier this week, a preview site (preview.jioconnect.com) that is registered to Reliance Industries’s RelianceDomains went live for a short period of time providing information on Reliance Jio’s Broadband tariffs, digital services and connectivity bundles among others. This was first spotted by TelecomTalk. The site has since been taken down, although it is still accessible via Google cache.
On offer is Fibre to the Home (FTTH) Broadband connections termed as “FIP Alpha” that claims to offer speeds of 100 Mbps and 100GB usage limit at tariffs starting at Rs 1 per month. Note that these tariffs could just as well be a place holder and might be changed at launch. We also feel the usage limit is probably too low considering the speeds being offered, although its possible that Reliance Jio will offer higher usage limits (and hopefully true unlimited plans) at higher tariffs.
It is also providing broadband connections bundled with its file sharing service JioDrive through which Reliance Jio claims to offer 100GB of storage space to consumers. Reliance Industries had earlier mentioned that it is rolling-out high speed internet services via optical fibre (FTTX) in over 900 cities/towns in the country along with piloting Wi-Fi hotspots in eight locations at Ahmedabad and nine locations at Baroda and Surat.
It seems like Reliance Jio will be offering these WiFi services on a subscription basis starting at Rs 51 per month for 1GB usage. It can currently be accessed only on a single device at a time.
The preview site also suggests that users can access WiFi services pan India for a maximum of 72 hours as per a Government mandate, post which they need to do an OTP verification once again to access the service. According to a list of WiFi hotspots mentioned on the site, the company seems to have focused on popular places like malls, lakes, parks, tourist spots, government buildings and shopping complexes among others.
Besides Jio Drive, Reliance Jio will also be providing several digital services including:
– Music streaming service Jio Beats.
– Live TV & catch-up TV service Jio Play. We also spotted a login page for Jio Play, however it doesn’t provide any options for users to signup for the service at the moment.
– Video on demand service Jio On-demand.
– Online newspaper service Jio News that claims to allow users read hundreds of traditional newspapers across different languages and editions.
– Online magazine service Jio Mags.
– Voice & video calling app Jio Social.
– A friends locator app Jio Friends.
Note that OnMobile co-founder Arvind Rao had left Reliance Jio in March this year, after joining the company in an advisory capacity in late 2012. According to our sources, Rao along with former KPCB partner Aniruddha (Ajit) Nazre were heading Reliance Jio’s content and data services side of the business.
The company also now owns Network18 that operates TV channels like Colors, CNN IBN and CNBC TV18 among others. In October this year, it had also roped in former Deutsche Telekom executive Rainer Deutschmann as its new Chief Products and Innovation officer, who was expected to oversee the key software, content and mobile Internet elements of the venture.
The preview site also features MiFi devices bundled with Jio’s data plans and digital services and 4G-compatible Android handsets, that seems to be imported Chinese handsets like K-Touch at the moment.
Remember that Reliance Jio had earlier roped in former BlackBerry India managing director Sunil Dutt as the president for its devices segment, where he is reportedly responsible for developing a portfolio of self-branded handsets that will be manufactured by third party vendors as well as managing the third party 4G handset portfolio for the company.