Jio may offer initially free services to trial home broadband users
Come Thursday, Reliance Jio Infocomm is likely to offer free home broadband services for a limited period as part of a preview offer to the 5 lakh-odd customers who’ve signed up for JioFiber’s trials, following which, they will be charged.
“Jio is mulling multiple free service time-bands, ranging from a fortnight to a month for customers who’ve already opted for the trials,” a person aware of the matter told ET.
Reliance Jio’s much awaited fiber-based home broadband services will go live on September 5.
During the limited preview period, the 5 lakh-odd customers who’ve opted for trials may be allowed to avail of any JioFiber plans for free, the person cited said.
At press time, Jio did not respond to ET’s queries.
JioFiber plans will be priced between Rs 700 and Rs 10,000 a month. They will offer base speeds of 100 Mbps with a maximum limit of 1 Gbps, making it the country’s fastest pure-fibre-based home broadband service
Customers who’ve opted for JioFiber trials now get 100 GB of startup data and a free landline. Once the 100 GB is exhausted, they get nearly an extra 1000 GB for free by way of 40 GB free recharges 24 times. These services are available now against a refundable security deposit of Rs 2,500. From September 5, they will have to opt for specific JioFiber plans, which will initially be free for a limited span, and then charged.
Jio has reportedly indicated that it will offer free installation of its home broadband service to all customers. “As part of our initial rollout, we are offering complimentary JioFiber installation and connection to all our customers. Other than the refundable security deposit, as of now there are no additional installation charges,” Jio has said on its website.
Bank of America-Merrill Lynch has recently said Jio’s parent Reliance IndustriesNSE 0.43 % (RIL) is likely to unveil three home broadband offerings, including a base pack offering 100 Mbps download speeds, a bundled broadband pack with television services and a high-end converged broadband offer with TV and IoT devices thrown in, wherein a consumer could also control security, lighting and kitchen appliances. A possible sweetner, it said, could be a free landline phone, just as Jio offers free voice with its 4G mobile services.
Experts have said Jio’s promise of a free high-definition or 4K LED smart TV along with a 4K set-top box to those opting for its yearly home broadband plans could be a potential game-changer and induce customer churn at urban-focussed TV distributors.
Airtel has already launched a digital entertainment services platform, christened Airtel Xstream, ahead of Jio’s home broadband blitz, taking the rivalry between the two telcos to the next level.