Reliance Jio aiming 4G soft launch this week?

Reliance Jio 4G OFC network in KeralaTelecom network operator Reliance Jio Infocomm promoted by billionaire Mukesh Ambani is likely to start offering 4G SIMs this week, probably starting on Monday / Tuesday.

The anticipated 4G SIM launch by Reliance Jio Infocomm, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries (RIL) is amidst 4G marketing campaigns by Bharti Airtel and Vodafone. Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular are the top two 4G service providers in India based on their network coverage.

Reliance Jio, which announced the official launch of 4G in the next half of 2016, will offer 4G SIMs — free of cost — to certain customers such as buyers of its LYF and other 4G smartphones — across the country, with a focus on metros.

Reliance Jio has started shipping SIMs and Customers Application Forms (CAFs) to its outlets across the country, Hindu Business Line’s Rajesh Kurup reported.

The 4G operator is now extending the testing of the services to certain customers, which could be a prelude for a commercial launch. The SIMs can be activated within four hours of a user submitting the CAFs, and on activation of the SIM, a customer can start using 4G services.

Reliance Jio will be providing 4G SIMs through RIL’s retail chain, including Reliance Digital, Reliance Digital Express and Reliance Digital Express Mini, and also independent channel partners.

Last week, RJio informed the outlets of the SIM and CAF supplies, and provided training to its staff. However, the company did not inform the distributors of the tariff plans.

Reliance Jio has a near term addressable market of about 280 million subscribers (high-end 2G, 3G and wireless broadband users).

Meanwhile, Deloitte said the launch of 4G services will create consumer demand for online content in the coming years.

India’s active OTT video subscribers are expected to grow to 105 million by 2020 from 12 million in 2014, according to a Media Partner Asia (MPA).

Rural users account for 35 percent of India’s Internet community, despite representing over 60 percent of the country’s population, PTI reported.

The number of Internet subscribers in India reached 319.42 million in June 2015.

The Internet user base will cross 500 million by 2018, with rural Internet users alone being almost 210 million, according to Internet and Mobile Association in India (IMAI).

Reliance Jio has set a target of 100 million 4G subscribers in the first year of its launch. India has 93 million 3G subscribers at present. The 3G penetration stands at 9 percent of the mobile subscriber base of 981 million, according to brokerage firm CLSA.

Vina Krishnan
[email protected]