Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Jio Infocomm, will make a statement today, 21 February, at 1:30 PM.
The statement will be streamed via Youtube and other channels. The link to the live stream will be shared by around 12 PM.
Though the company has no revealed what the subject of the announcement will be, it is expected that the Ambani will announce that the company has crossed the 100 mln subscriber mark.
Jio, which started signing up customers in September, had crossed the 72 mln mark in December and has been adding about 20 mln per month. At the rate, therefore, the 100 mln subscriber mark would have been hit by around the middle of this month.
There were also various media reports that the RIL chairman did indeed make such an announcement at the recently held Nasscom Leadership Forum in Mumbai.
However, the news reports were followed by a clarification that the billionaire made no such announcement.
The milestone would come as a surprise to many people, including those in the industry, as very few people expected that any operator would be able to cross 100 mln 4G subscribers in 2017, let alone at the beginning of the year.
For comparison, Idea Cellular, the third biggest 4G service provider in India, has only around 20 mln 4G devices on its network and many of these subscribers have not activated 4G packs.
Similarly, three months ago, Bharti Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal predicted that the new operator would be able to sign on about 40 mln users by the end of December, but additions would start “dropping off” after that.
However, the Ambani firm seems to be well on its way to prove sceptics wrong.
It should, however, be noted that the subscriber numbers may not be indicative of the real and live usage of the network. This is revealed by something called ‘visitor location register’ — a count of the actual live number of subscribers on the network, excluding switched off ones.
Many Jio users have purchased more than one connection in an attempt to take full advantage of the company’s free data services. The company restricts high-speed data to 1 GB per connection.
According to December data, almost 80% of the total subscribers were found to be switched on. Given recent trends, it’s likely that the percentage would be around 75% by the time the company crosses the 100 mln mark.