HOME > BUSINESS > Reliance Jio 4G launch date is NOT postponed by Mukesh Ambani in CNN interview

Reliance Jio 4G launch date is NOT postponed by Mukesh Ambani in CNN interview

mukesh-ambani-reliance-jio-launch-date
screengrab of the CNN interview

Sometimes, even the best can get it wrong, and it looks like that’s what happened in the case of ‘Mukesh Ambani says Reliance Jio to launch in second half’ story.

Across publications, everyone is reporting that Ambani postponed the launch date of what is touted to be India’s biggest 4G service to the second half of this year. But that is not true, if you go by the transcript of the interview put out by Firstpost.com.

First, let’s see what different publications are reporting:

“We’ll be ready to launch in the second half of 2016. Eighty percent of India’s population will have high-speed mobile broadband Internet. So, 80% of the 1.3 billion Indians will have high-speed, mobile Internet. And by 2017, and we would cover 90%. And, by 2018, all of India would be covered by this digital infrastructure.”

But the transcript of Mukesh Ambani’s interview, given on Firstpost website gives a different picture. In it, he says:

“Well, we are ready to launch and in the second half of 2016, 80% of India’s population will have high speed mobile broadband internet – so 80 % of the 1.3 billion Indians will have high speed mobile internet. By 2017 end, we will cover 90% and by 2018 all of India would be covered by this (Jio) digital infrastructure.”

Of course, the difference is only in a few words here and there and in the punctuation and so on, but it makes a lot of difference if you are trying to gauge the launch date of Reliance Jio.

Specifically, while most publications are reporting that Ambani said “We’ll be ready to launch in the second half of 2016,” Firstpost.com — which is owned by Ambani’s Reliance Industries, is reporting the sentence as “Well, we are ready to launch and in the second half of 2016, 80% of India’s population will have high speed mobile broadband internet.”

The two, of course, don’t mean the same thing. The first is clear affirmation that the launch will happen in the second half, and that is indeed what everyone is reporting, while the second says that Jio is ready to launch, and goes on to give coverage milestones.

Typically, telecom companies give coverage milestones such as “X% by 12 months, Y% by 2 years” and so on, and it looks like Ambani was saying that coverage will be increased to 80% of the population by the second half of the year and 90% by next year.

It is, of course, possible that Reliance Jio is indeed pushing the 4G launch date to the second half, but such an affirmation cannot be made purely on the basis of this sentence.

MORALE ISSUE

Any further delay in the already much-delayed project would be a setback — both for employees of the firm as well as eager customers.

Going by our on-the-ground reports, such a delay is not on the cards, and the launch date target continues to be “sometime in March/April” as it has been for the last couple of months.

Not surprisingly, reports that the operator was delaying the launch even further have led to sharp reactions on social media, with many eager consumers turning to humor to hide their disappointment. One person said the company is waiting for 5G technology to mature before starting its services.

WHY DELAY IS UNLIKELY

Besides our on-the-ground feelers, there are many other reasons why a delay is unlikely.

First, Reliance Retail has already imported millions, perhaps even 1 crore, handsets for sale when the service starts. And they are not selling them aggressively yet.

If the company delays the launch by six months, the handsets will become outdated, though not unsaleable. They will require huge discounts to see any market momentum.

At an average cost of Rs 9,000, 10 mln handsets requires an investment of Rs 9,000 cr.

The second factor is competition. One of the biggest advantages that any start-up has over established players is the radically different way it approaches the market. This includes the way it structures its costs and business operations, the kind of services it offers and often the prices at which it does so.

Over the last two years — and largely thanks to Jio’s own disclosures, much of the information about how the operator plans to disrupt the market is already out. This includes its plans for cut-throat pricing, its strategy of offering multimedia content and not just a pipe, extreme scale and the reach of its network and so on.

Over the last six months, RJio’s competitors have started copying much of the company’s strategy.

For example, in April last year, when Idea officials were asked if the company would roll out 4G before March 2016, the company said that they were not planning to make any meaningful investments in the technology before March.

“Meaningful capex , if you were to use the word for 4G launch , which i s the correct word to use, the answer is No. We will do POC (proof of concept).”

However, with Jio threatening their market shares, all of its big rivals including Idea have already launched 4G services in a big way. In fact, Idea is ramping so fast that it may become the biggest 4G operator by June, when it plans to have 750 cities covered by the service.

Similarly, these operators are moving fast to offer their own video services and other value-adds in an effort not to be caught unawares by Jio. Airtel announced its project leap, seen as a response to the RJio threat, to upgrade its network.

In fact, the company announced last week that it had moved its network from 4G to 4G+ in Kerala. 4G+ networks support handsets such as Redmi Note 3, which come with Category 6 LTE that offers more stable and often faster data throughput.

Similarly, Idea, Vodafone and Bharti are busy swapping their old fixed-technology base stations for flexible ones that can allow them to switch their network from 2G to 3G and from 3G to 4G at a later date with the ‘flick of a switch’ at their network control centers.

According to our sources, Jio is more likely to go for a limited launch instead of postponing the starting of its service to the second half. There are already reports that the first phase of launch would be done in 13 cities.

To read the full transcript, head to Firstpost.com.
[socialpoll id=”2334919″]

Follow ULTRA.news
New technology makes telecom cheaper, but hurts tower companies A technology that has been around for almost a decade is now getting deployed on a large scale by Indian telecom operators to deploy 2G, 3G and 4G networks using the same base station.A Nokia illustration on old vs new situationThis could hit the revenue and growth prosp...
Bharti Airtel to offer cheap 4G plans for all dongle users – report With new operator Reliance Jio snapping at its heels, incumbent Bharti Airtel has decided to slash its data prices for everyone with the introduction of new 4G dongle plans, Telecom Talk blog reported quoting unnamed sources.At present, Bharti Airtel does not offer any plan t...
Bharti Airtel slashes home broadband tariff ahead of Jio Fiber launch Ahead of the launch of Jio Fiber by Reliance, Bharti Airtel slashed its home broadband prices with a new set of cheaper plans.The new plans now offer up to 100% more high speed data benefits within the same monthly rentals, the company said. Existing customers will b...
Bharti Airtel could help Reliance Jio win Rs 2,000 cr from DoT Bharti Airtel's attempts to avoid paying "voice conversion charge" on the spectrum that it is purchasing from internet service provider Tikona Digital could end up unintentionally benefiting arch rival Reliance Jio.Reliance Jio was forced to pay around Rs 1,650 cr four ye...
Airtel, Idea and Vodafone close to network sharing deal Fierce competition from new entrant Reliance Jio is pushing the incumbent telecom operators Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone India to accelerate negotiations to allow them to use each other's full networks.As of now, these operators only share 'passive' or 'dead' in...
Reliance Jio puts more 4G spectrum to use to increase speeds Reliance Jio, the 4G operator that has taken the market by storm, has deployed the extra spectrum that it bought last year, increasing the total spectrum in use in most markets by 20-25%.In most circles, Jio is operating with about 40-50 MHz of spectrum, and with the new sp...
4,196 villages lose Idea Cellular 2G signal as 876 towers taken offline Idea's tower growth, by technologyIdea Cellular, India's third largest telecom operator by revenue, reported a shrinkage in the area and population covered by its 2G network.The number of villages covered by Idea's 2G signals decreased by 4,196 to 3.89 lakh by March end ...
Bharti Airtel to start refarming 2G spectrum for 4G this year India's largest telecom services company by revenue and spectrum holding, Bharti Airtel, will start diverting its 2G spectrum to add to its 4G network in the second half of the ongoing financial year, the company's CEO said.The move will help increase 4G capacity of the o...
Idea Cellular to spend Rs 6,000 cr on VoLTE, expansion of 4G & 3G this year Idea Cellular, the telecom company controlled by the Aditya Birla group, said it will spend Rs 6,000 cr to expand its 3G and 4G services in the current financial year.Idea tower additions per yearThe planned investment of Rs 6,000 cr has been "earmarked for expanding bro...
Airtel Broadband to upgrade users to 40 Mbps V Fiber plans to beat Reliance Jio Locations of Airtel V Fiber servicesAirtel Broadband, India's second largest wired broadband service, will upgrade nearly all its DSL customers to its new 'V Fiber' vectorization technology that offers speeds of 40 Mbps, compared to 4-8 Mbps under the traditional ADSL 2 tech...
Bharti Airtel is successfully adopting the Reliance Jio model It is not every day that a new entrant forces the established players in the market to overhaul their business models. But Reliance Jio seems to be doing just that, and rivals like Bharti Airtel are proving to be quick, if slightly unwilling, learners.In the three months from...
Reliance Jio’s Fiber preview to start in Mumbai, Rs 4,500 security deposit – Report You Broadband plans in MumbaiMumbai will be the first city to get preview services of Reliance Jio's Fiber services, which will come with a monthly cap of 100 GB of high-speed data, India Today reported, adding that users will have to pay Rs 4,500 as a refundable security de...
Reliance Jio to start trial services for fiber soon across India Reliance Jio, the biggest carrier of wireless data in the world, said it will expand beta trials of its fiber-to-the-home services in the 'next few months' across India.It has already started these trials in "a few locations", which would be expanded city by city. According t...
Why Reliance Jio will keep data prices low for 2 years: Credit Suisse explains Wireless data prices in India, which crashed from Rs 250 per GB to about Rs 10 per GB after the entry of Reliance Jio, will continue to remain under pressure for at least two more years, said analyst firm Credit Suisse.That is the minimum amount of time that the new entrant w...
Net Neutrality: Vodafone wants right to manipulate Internet videos Telcos want to be able to reduce video qualityVodafone India said it would like to be given the power to manage the size of videos watched by users on its mobile network and lower it automatically "for overall quality welfare".Participating in the discussions related to ...
Telcos Change Tack as Net Neutrality Fight Enters Final Round in India A campaign by Internet Freedom FoundationIf you thought the fight over net neutrality was over with the sending of 1 mln emails to the TRAI two years ago, think again.The telecom service providers, who lost out that in the first round, are back. This time, however, their...
Amazon Fire TV Stick Launch: Airtel offers 100 GB data free Bharti Airtel said it would provide 100 GB of free high-speed data to anyone who purchases Amazon’s Fire TV Stick in India.The offer is available to Airtel customers on broadband as well as '4G Home Wifi', but not to normal, handset-based 4G users.The data quota can b...
AirAsia offers 15% off to Reliance Jio customers AirAsia said it will offer a 15% discount to all customers of Reliance Jio for flights booked this month for travel between Jun 20 to Sep 30."All Reliance Jio customers get 15% off on domestic and international flights," the airline tweeted.The booking has to be done us...
Complaints against telcos drop sharply as 4G takes off No of complaints against telcos in last three years. 2017 nos are annualizedComplaints against all telecom providers except Bharti Airtel dropped in 2016, possibly in reaction to the emergence of new operator Reliance Jio and the explosion of 4G data capacity.The total n...
Airtel to offer 2 GB/day for ₹349, 3.5GB for 999 to take on Reliance Jio Airtel will unveil cheaper data tariffs soonIndia's largest telecom services company by revenue -- Bharti Airtel -- is in the process of rolling out new plans including one that offers 2 GB of data per day at just Rs 349 in addition to unlimited calling for 28 days, according ...
Working Reliance Jio ‘DTH’ video uploaded by Gujarat-based test user the video of the so-called Jio DTHA video of a working Reliance Jio 'DTH' TV has been leaked by a Gujarat-based Youtube user, even as Airtel unveiled its own 'Internet TV' today.The Youtube user demonstrates a working set-top-box, complete with HD channels and various ot...
Airtel Digital launches first-of-its-kind Android set-top-box with advanced features Airtel Digital TV launched what it called India’s first hybrid set-top-box with built-in Android and a host of advanced gaming and Internet functions at a price of Rs 4999.Customers can also get one year of free subscription by paying Rs 3,000 extra.It will be availab...
Reliance Jio launches Dhan Dhana Dhan offer with three times validity as Summer Surprise Reliance Jio is all set to relaunch its earlier 303 and 499 plan, but with three-times the earlier validity, according to sources.This would help it side-step issues around continuing with free services.UPDATE: The new offer will be called Dhan Dhana Dhan and will have ...
TRAI’s MySpeed app pulled from Google Play Store The TRAI MySpeed AppThe Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's network benchmarking app MySpeed is no longer listed on the Android Play Store.The link for the app throws an error saying 'the requested URL was not found on this server'.It is not clear whether TRAI pu...
Ortel Communications slashes broadband tariff as Reliance Jio threat looms With the prospect of the entry of Reliance Jio into the cable and broadband market, Ortel Communications -- the largest cable network in Orissa and an emerging player in neighboring states, has slashed its broadband rates.The company has removed all its sub-1 Mbps plans and r...