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MediaNama’s Take on Reliance Jio launch: what to expect and watch out for

Internet in India needed the Reliance Jio launch. We need low cost connectivity everywhere, for users to feel that the cost of trying out the Internet is low: the fact that Jio is going to be free till the end of the year is exactly what incumbent telecom operators should have done: give people a taste of the Internet, and then let them pay for it. We hope this brings people online by the millions. We need Internet everywhere in India. Prices also need to be substantially low, for people to stay online. India has some of the highest data charges in the world, and with Jio pushing prices down, we should expect much greater consumption of video and all forms of content. This, if it works and continues, is the moment we've been waiting for. For far too long, data services in India have been without significant competition, with Airtel, Idea and Vodafone together (I'm not going to use the word "cartel", but, y'know...) clawing marketshare from everyone else. They largely served their customers well, but they served themselves even better: data prices have been far too high, and for the telecom operators with the best prices, have only gone up. Bit by bit, call rates have also been going up, as competition is dying (and being acquired by one of these three). There was one event, the 2G Scam, which brought competition to phone calling, and the entry of new telecom operators brought calling rates down. Remember Tata…

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Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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