Earlier (April 7): With a little over 4 months remaining for the BWA rollout obligations to kick in, it seems like Reliance Industries’ data services venture Reliance Jio has finally launched its first product: a mobile messaging app with voice and video calling features called Jio Chat. But hold on, the app isn’t available yet. Currently, the company seems to be offering only the iOS app, but several attempts to download the app failed. It keeps redirecting to another section of the website and not to the Apple App Store. We searched on the App Store as well, but didn’t find it.
Based on the information available on the website, it looks like Reliance Jio is aiming for the ‘Baap of all messaging app’ title. Jio Chat, apparently, packs in instant messaging, voice & video calling, one-to-one & group chats, conference calling, stickers and will even feature updates and offers from the user’s favourite brands. Jio Chat seems to have been inspired by the Japanese mobile messaging and calling app LINE a lot. Just like LINE, Jio Chat claims it will feature Jio Chat Channels, that brands and most probably celebrities will be able to use to connect with users.
It’s worth noting that in December last year, Reliance Jio had launched a preview site (preview.jioconnect.com), which provided information on Reliance Jio’s Broadband tariffs, digital services and connectivity bundles among others. It was live for a very short period and is no longer accessible. You see a screen shot of the site here. At the time, the company had mentioned on the site that it will be launching a voice & video calling app Jio Social. They now seem to have added mobile messaging to it as well.
Some of the other digital services Reliance Jio is expected to launch include:
– Music streaming service Jio Beats.
– Live TV & catch-up TV service Jio Play.
– 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.
– A friends locator app Jio Friends.
The company had also claimed to offer Fibre to the Home (FTTH) Broadband connections termed as FIP Alpha with speeds of 100 Mbps and 100 GB usage limit. It had also claimed that it will provide broadband connections bundled with its file sharing service JioDrive through which Reliance Jio claims to offer 100 GB of storage space to consumers.
Free Wi-Fi in Kolkata: In January this year, Reliance Jio had tied-up with the West Bengal government to introduce 4G-enabled free Wi-Fi service across Kolkata by the end of March. It began by providing free Wi-Fi service to citizens in Park Street and the surrounding areas like Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road, Loudon Street, Russell Street and Little Russell Street, and had claimed that all 145 municipal wards of the city will be covered over the next two months. Apparently, four more areas in the city will be Wi-Fi enabled by May, as indicated by this IndianTelevision.com report.
During the recently concluded spectrum auction, Reliance Jio had acquired over 71 MHz spectrum across the 800 MHz and 1800 MHz bands for about Rs 10,000 crore. At the time, the company said that t plans to provide 4G services using LTE in 800MHz, 1800MHz and 2300MHz bands through an integrated ecosystem. After this auction the company has spectrum in either 800MHz or 1800MHz or both in 20 out of total 22 circles in the country.