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As Jio claims 16 million users, some questions

Reliance Jio has claimed at reaching "16 million users" in 26 days since its launch, claiming that it has "created a world record by crossing 16 Million subscribers in its first month of operations (September, 2016)." Aside of the immaterial "world record" PR, it is worth remembering that this growth has come on the basis of giving free mobile Internet connectivity and calls, and that many potential Jio customers were struggling to even get connections, owing to inordinately high wait times often stretching into hours. They could possibly have gotten more. Jio also hasn't clarified about how many of these customers were already using the service prior to commercial launch, since it did a staggered rollout. The 16 million users in 26 day claim will possibly not hold up to deeper scrutiny. That said, the rollout, as it was initially for "friends and family", then in partnership with various handset manufacturers, did help build up intrigue, demand and hype for the full rollout, and the offer of free calls and data for the first three months helped create that demand for connections. Aadhaar based activation, and availability across 3100 towns and cities was also a good idea. Second SIM Of course, it's unlikely that Jio has added 16 million to India's Internet user base: most of these are likely to be a second SIM, and it's better to see them as connections, not users. An Uber driver in Bangalore a couple of weeks ago told me that the data on his…

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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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