Reliance Jio declares readiness for 4G launch; imports IPTV STBs

MUMBAI: The Reliance Jio juggernaut is getting ready to enter the next phase. According to the Q1 2017 presentation Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) made to investors over the weekend, Relaince Jio’s Preview Offer for its 4G LTE services tests phase is doing very well.

Reliance Jio officials announced that the company is ready to roll them out nationally, apart from four circles (these will take six to eight weeks) which were awarded to it on 6 July.

It said that its network is available over 18,000 cities and more than 200,000 villages in the 2300 MHz/1800 MHz band.

The company stated that its JioLyf Preview Offer is now being expanded and has attracted 1.5 million plus users to it. Each subscriber is consuming 26GB and speaking for about 355 minutes each month.

Reliance Jio revealed that there has been a strong uptake of all the services it has been offering, considering the humungous data consumption. Among the ones that are popular is Jio Play offering 300+ channel (30 of them HD) across 15 languages in 10 genres, offering seven day catch up TV with pause and play and personalization features. The others that are gaining in popularity are JioOnDemand, (100,000 hours of HD-ad free movies and trailers), JioBeats (million plus songs in 20 different languages), JioXpresNews (500 plus content publishers) and JioMags (5,000 magazine plus issues across 15 categories and 10 languages).

According to the RIL presentation, the company has set up a 100,000 strong retailer base to sell its LYF devices, which include Flame, Wind, Water and Earth priced between Rs 2,999 and 19,999. Another 500,000 outlets for SIM and recharge sales have been signed up.

Last week Reliance Jio extended its Preview Offer to select Samsung Galaxy Phone users and it is now expected to allow IPhone 6, and 6S users to be able to sign up for it too by next week.

Observers expect Reliance Jio to levy a data usage fee much lower than the 0.5 p per 10 kb – that has been talked about so far - when it launches. A commercial launch date that is being talked about is 15 August.

Additionally Reliance Jio has also imported 15,000 IPTV set top boxes from Vietnam earlier this month, according to reports.

The boxes reportedly have a price tag of Rs 5,500 and are an indicator that the company is possibly readying to introduce its fibre to the home services (FTTH) and could start delivering IPTV to customers in the not too distand future. All that subscribers have to do is download the JioPlay and JioOnDemand Apps to tune into content that could rival that offered by many other cable operators and DTH operators. Reliance Jio already has a national MSO licence. Pricing plans have not been revealed as yet, but expect them to be competitive.

RIL reported a turnover of Rs 71,451 crore with a net profit of Rs 7,113 crore. in Q12017.

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