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Rel Jio will offer upto 80 times faster Internet speeds, says Mukesh Ambani

RIL chairman says Jio will offer 40-80 times of currently available internet speeds, cover 70% of nation from first day of operations

business Updated: Mar 30, 2016 17:00 IST
HT Correspondent
Mukesh Ambani

From left: Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, union minister for IT and communications Ravi Shankar Prasad, Star India CEO Uday Shankar and filmmaker Ramesh Sippy at FICCI FRAMES 2016 in Mumbai on Wednesday.(IANS photo)

Reliance Jio will offer internet speeds upto 80 times of the average current speeds, RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani said here on Wednesday.

Jio, Reliance Industries’ 4G high-speed internet venture in which RIL has invested about Rs 150,000 crore and will cover 70% of the country from the first day, Ambani said while addressing FICCI Frames event.

He said that Jio will offer data speeds 40-80 times faster than the current average internet speeds in the Indian market, and it will also make available a significantly higher quantity of data per consumer.

At present, the average broadband speed in India is 1.5 Mbps (Megabits per second). This would put Rel Jio’s promised speed in the range of 60-120 Mbps. Right now, the world’s fastest internet is offered in South Korea where the average speed is 19.15 Mbps.

Ambani also spoke about data consumption capacity.

“Currently the data consumption for an average consumer is 0.15 giga bits per annum. Jio’s network is engineered to provide a capacity of over 10 giga bits per user, that is nearly 100 times more that we he or she is using today,” he said.

High-speed broadband internet penetration in the country is only 15-20%, he said, adding Jio will expand to cover 90% of the market by the end of 2017.

“Jio will be an ecosystem that comprises devices, broadband network, powerful applications and services distributed to every doorstep in India. Jio’s media offerings will include comprehensive library and programming recorded and live, music, sports, live television, movies,” Ambani said.

The Reliance chairman didn’t share details of when the service will be commercially launched, however. It was initially expected to be launched by last December, but so far it has only been made available among the company’s employees.

In February, Ambani said that the services would be launched in the second half of 2016. The company has already started selling 4G-enabled smartphones under the Lyf brand, and market sources indicate that the company has started shipping 4G SIM cards to retailers.

He said the service will be made accessible and affordable for all Indians across the country, and will create a whole new digital economy. The world will see a tectonic shift to a digital world, and services such as Jio will create opportunities to drive that change, he said.

Interestingly, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch had said in a recent report that the commercial launch of Jio is likely to get pushed to December 2016.

“Despite completing an employee soft launch in December 2015, we do not yet have visibility on the timeline on commercial launch by Jio. In our recent meetings with industry participants, we found a consistent view coming out of risks of Jio launch being pushed to December 2016,” the brokerage said.

A few other analysts however believe that the company could be gearing up for a soft launch of the services soon.

It was expected that Jio would be the first company to launch 4G services in the country, but Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular have all rolled out their services in several regions across the country, with mixed success.