Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, d/b/a Jio, is an Indian telecommunications company and wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries, headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. It operates a national LTE network with coverage across all 22 telecom circles. It does not offer 2G or 3G service, and instead uses only voice over LTE to provide voice service on its 4G network.
|Subsidiary of Reliance Industries|
|Founded||15 February 2007|
|Mukesh Ambani |
|Members||355.2 million |
Jio soft launched on 27 December 2015 with a beta for partners and employees, and became publicly available on 5 September 2016. As of 30 September 2019, it is the second largest mobile network operator in India and the fourth largest mobile network operator in the world with over 355.17 million subscribers. It is also the fourth largest provider of fixed telephony in Country.
In September 2019, Jio launched a fiber to the home service, offering home broadband, television, and telephone services.
The company was registered in Ambawadi, Ahmedabad (Gujarat) on 15 February 2007 as Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited. In June 2010, Reliance Industries (RIL) bought a 95% stake in Infotel Broadband Services Limited (IBSL) for ₹4,800 crore (US$690 million). Although unlisted, IBSL was the only company that won broadband spectrum in all 22 circles in India in the 4G auction that took place earlier that year. Later continuing as RIL's telecom subsidiary, Infotel Broadband Services Limited was renamed as Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL) in January 2013.
In June 2015, Jio announced that it would start its operations throughout the country by the end of 2015. However, four months later in October, the company postponed the launch to the first quarter of the financial year 2016–2017.
Later, in July 2015, a PIL filed in the Supreme Court by an NGO called the Centre for Public Interest Litigation, through Prashant Bhushan, challenged the grant of a pan-India licence to Jio by the Government of India. The PIL also alleged that the firm was being allowed to provide voice telephony along with its 4G data service, by paying an additional fee of just ₹165.8 crore (US$24 million) which was arbitrary and unreasonable, and contributed to a loss of ₹2,284.2 crore (US$330 million) to the exchequer. The Indian Department of Telecommunications (DoT), however, explained that the rules for 3G and BWA spectrum didn't restrict BWA winners from providing voice telephony. As a result, the PIL was revoked, and the accusations were dismissed.
The 4G services were launched internally on 27 December 2015. The company commercially launched its 4G services on 5 September 2016. Within the first month, Jio announced that it had acquired 16 million subscribers. Jio crossed 50 million subscriber mark in 83 days since its launch, subsequently crossing 100 million subscribers on 22 February 2017. By October 2017 it had about 130 million subscribers.
Radio frequency summary
Jio owns spectrum in 850 MHz and 1,800 MHz bands in India's 22 circles, and also owns pan-India licensed 2,300 MHz spectrum. The spectrum is valid until 2035.
|Andhra Pradesh & Telangana|
|Bihar & Jharkhand|
|Uttar Pradesh (East)|
|Jammu and Kashmir|
|Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh|
|Uttar Pradesh (West)|
Jio shares spectrum with Reliance Communications. The sharing deal is for 800 MHz band across seven circles other than the 10 circles for which Jio already owns.
In February 2017, Jio announced a partnership with Samsung to work on LTE - Advanced Pro and 5G.
Products and services
The company launched its 4G broadband services throughout India in September 2016. It was slated to release in December 2015 after some reports said that the company was waiting to receive final permits from the government. Jio offers fourth-generation (4G) data and voice services, along with peripheral services like instant messaging and streaming movies and music.
In August 2018, Jio began to test a new triple play fiber to the home service known tenatively as Jio GigaFiber, including broadband internet with speeds ranging from 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps, as well as television and landline telephone services.
In August 2019, it was announced that the service would officially launch on 5 September 2019 as JioFiber, in honour of the company's third anniversary. Jio also announced plans to offer streaming of films still in theatres ("First Day First Show") to eligible JioFiber subscribers.
The company has a network of more than 250,000 km of fiber optic cables in the country, over which it will be partnering with local cable operators to get broader connectivity for its broadband services.
Jio has also marketed co-branded mobile phones.
In June 2015, Jio entered into an agreement with domestic handset maker Intex to supply 4G handsets capable of voice over LTE (VoLTE). However, in October 2015, Jio announced that it would be launching its own mobile handset brand named LYF.
On 25 January 2016, the company launched its LYF smartphone series starting with Water 1, through its chain of electronic retail outlets, Reliance Retail. Three more handset models have been released so far, namely Water 2, Earth 1, and Flame 1.
JioPhone is a line of feature phones marketed by Jio. The first model, released in August 2017 (with public pre-orders beginning 24 August 2017), was positioned as an "affordable" LTE-compatible feature phone. It runs the KaiOS platform (derived from the defunct Firefox OS), and includes a 2.4-inch display, a dual-core processor, 4 GB of internal storage, near-field communication support, a suite of Jio-branded apps (including the voice assistant HelloJio), and a Jio-branded application store. It also supports a "TV cable" accessory for output to an external display.
In July 2018, the company unveiled the JioPhone 2, an updated model in a keyboard bar form factor with a QWERTY keyboard and horizontal display. Jio also announced that Facebook, WhatsApp, and YouTube apps would become available for the two phones.
Prior to its pan-India launch of 4G data and telephony services, the firm has started providing free Wi-Fi hotspot services in cities throughout India including Surat, Ahmedabad in Gujarat, and Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, Indore, Jabalpur, Dewas and Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, select locations of Mumbai in Maharashtra, Kolkata in West Bengal, Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, Bhubaneswar in Odisha, Mussoorie in Uttarakhand, Collectorate's Office in Meerut, and at MG Road in Vijayawada among others.
In May 2016, Jio launched a bundle of multimedia apps on Google Play as part of its upcoming 4G services. While the apps are available to download for everyone, a user will require a Jio SIM card to use them. Additionally, most of the apps are in the beta phase. Notable apps include:
- JioChat - instant messaging app
- JioCinema - online HD video library
- JioCloud - cloud-based backup tool
- JioMags - e-reader for magazines
- JioMoney Wallet - online payments/wallet app
- JioSaavn (earlier, JioMusic) - for online and offline music streaming in English and Indian languages
- JioSecurity - security app
- Jio4GVoice (earlier, JioJoin) - VoLTE phone simulator
- MyJio - manage Jio account and digital services associated with it
Affordable 4G phones
Reliance Jio has partnered with Google to manufacture "affordable" 4G handsets. These phones will run exclusively on Jio network. The two companies are also working on developing software for smart-TV services. Both were expected to launch in 2017.
Branding and marketing
On December 24, 2015, Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan was appointed as Jio's brand ambassador.
Reception of Jio Prime
By July, more than 125 million Jio customers had opted for Jio Prime. The last date for registration to Jio Prime membership was 31 March 2017. This was extended until 15 April 2017 along with an introduction of a new offer, "Jio Summer Surprise", which gave customers three months of free services. On 6 April 2017, TRAI advised Jio to withdraw this offer.
Issue with incumbents
In September 2016, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) summoned Jio and the country's existing telecom operators like Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea Cellular to meet and discuss an issue regarding interconnection between the operators. This was a result after Jio complained to TRAI and Department of Telecom (DoT) about other operators not honoring their commercial agreements to let Jio use their network resources. The company further added that the operators are trying to sabotage its entry into the telecom scene. However, DoT dismissed the request and directed TRAI to help settle the dispute amicably. Moreover, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) requested TRAI to include all the operators in the discussion instead of the three.
The incumbent operators had previously approached the country's PMO to reiterate their stance they "are in no way obliged or in any position to entertain Jio's requests for interconnection points as they do not have either the network or the financial resources to terminate the latter's humongous volumes of potentially asymmetric voice traffic." Responding to this, Mukesh Ambani, owner of Jio, said, "All operators have publicly said last week that they will provide this (interconnect and MNP). So, we are waiting. These are all great companies. They have their own reputations to protect. I am confident they won't violate the law." Commenting about number portability, he added, "The number belongs to the consumer. No operator can cause trouble if they want to change operators." However, on 12 September 2016, Idea Cellular agreed to allow Jio to use 196 of its interconnection access points.
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