Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance JIO entered the market last month with an ambition of providing Internet to every Indian. It also plans to become the biggest telecom company in India in coming years.
In just one month, JIO has managed to gather a lot of popularity. According to an estimate, it now has more than 25 million subscribers.
The reason people are getting JIO SIM in such a huge numbers is the freebies Ambani had announced at the launch event in September. Not only the SIM is free but it also comes bundled with free internet, SMS, and calls (with validity till March 2017).
Another great thing about JIO is it has created a lot of excitement among experts. Free internet is something almost everyone would love to enjoy. Many have predicted that this would boost internet penetration in the country. As of now, only about 25% of Indian population has access to internet and with the advent of JIO, we can expect that figure to at least go up to 50%.
So, Is Ambani’s ambitious JIO project is really capable of achieving all that experts are expecting? Let us find out.
Reliance Jio’s Network Reach
On the front of connectivity, JIO has left all other telecom companies behind. One can expect its 4G network even in remote areas likes in villages and on hills.
One thing I would like to mention here is Reliance had a really big advantage over others while setting up its towers across the country. Providers like Airtel, Idea, and Vodafone not only offer 4G but also 3G and 2G networks. On the other hand, JIO has a 4G only infrastructure. This strategy has helped the company save a lot of money. Moreover, Reliance is planning to cover up to 90% area of the country in coming years.
Plans and Affordability
As of now, JIO is running welcome offer under which a new subscriber will get free internet, calls, and SMS till 31 March 2017. From the Day 1 of next year, the company would start charging for its services. The good thing here is that the 4G plans of JIO are much cheaper than plans of any other provider in the market.
One can get 4GB of 4G data for just 499 rupees. Heavy users can opt for the 999 rupee plan that would offer 10GB of high-speed data.
Mukesh Ambani had said that heavy users will have to pay just 50 rupees for every GB of data they will use, which I think is a bit overstated. The highest plan JIO offers is priced at 4999 rupees and that also gives just 75GB of 4G data. This converts to 66.65 rupees per GB. Subscribers will also get some amount of Wi-Fi hotspot data with every plan.
As per company’s online document, all plans also offer unlimited 4G data at night. However, according to JIO the night of the user will start at 2 AM and end at 5 AM (you will get only 3 hours to download heavy data).
And last but not the least, calls are free on JIO’s network. No matter which plan you opt for, there will be no charges for calls. Its monthly plans are starting for 149 rupees, which in my opinion will be a great attraction for budget subscribers as they would get free calls as well as 300 MB of 4G data.
Is Reliance JIO Reliable?
As per the experiences users across the country have shared, Reliance JIO’s network does not seem to be reliable at all.
Many have reported that JIO is throttling speed at all times of the day. Even my experience so far has not been good. In the preview offer, I was easily getting 25 Mbps of speed without any problem. But these days, I hardly get 400-500 kbps.
Getting calls connected has become another struggle. You will have to dial a number 20 times before it gets connected.
My Conclusion: Reliance JIO has great potential. It can change the internet scenario in India by helping more people connect. However, bad network reliability is something Mukesh Ambani will have to fix if he wants to survive in the telecom world. In my opinion, throttling of speed is a very cheap tactic that JIO is committing.