India’s biggest billionaire and chairman of telecom operator Reliance Jio said today his company is rolling out fiber connectivity in 1,500 cities in India — an apparent uptick from the 1,100 cities announced four months ago.
Pointing out that India is ranked at 134th in the global ranking for fixed broadband penetration, Ambani said Jio is determined to move India to among the top 3 in fixed-line broadband.
Speaking at the 24th MobiCom conference in the capital today, he said the foundation for the same has been laid in the form of a countrywide fiber optic network that was laid as part of the 4G rollout.
“We will now extend this fiber connectivity to homes, merchants, small and medium enterprises and large enterprises simultaneously across 1500 cities to offer the most advanced fiber-based broadband connectivity solutions,” he said.
In early July, Ambani had announced the commencement of booking for GigaFiber, Reliance Jio’s fiber optic broadband and TV service.
At the time, he had said that the plan was to take the service to 1,100 cities, and had urged would-be consumers to register their interest on the company’s website.
Based on the quantum of interest registered, he said, Jio would decide on the order of roll-out.
It is not clear whether the telecom operator is responding to overwhelming enthusiasm from consumers by expanding the scope of the roll-out to 1,500 cities.
It also possible that the target has upgraded based on the acquisition of two large cable networks in recent days — Den Networks and Hathway Datacom.
The two cable networks alone have 750 cities between them.