Reliance Jio is scheduled to launch its JioFiber FTTH (fiber-to-the-home) service across various cities of India starting September 5. Announced during the 42nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Reliance Industries Ltd, the previously named GigaFiber home broadband service has been undergoing tests since the past year in over 0.5 million homes across India.
With Reliance ramping up the deployment of home broadband in more towns of the country, it plans to reach to over 20 million homes in the next year. Reliance's JioFiber offers speeds upto 1Gbps, landline connection with unlimited calling, upto 4K UHD content via cable channels and OTT platforms, multi-party video calling facility, gaming and IoT solutions.
While the company did not reveal broadband tariff plans at its AGM, it hinted that the prices will start from Rs 700 and go all the way upto Rs 10,000. It is expected that the company will reveal the plans on the day of the commercial rollout of JioFiber, September 5.
Until then, let's take a closer look at the features and services offered by JioFiber.
What is JioFiber?
JioFiber (previously Jio GigaFiber) is a home broadband service by Reliance Jio that aims to provide high-speed internet connectivity at an affordable price in India.
Along with the basic internet connectivity, it offers ultra-HD content via a 4K set-top box along with features like video conferencing, gaming, home security and smart home solutions.
How fast is JioFiber?
Reliance has confirmed that its JioFiber home broadband service will offer speeds upto 1Gbps. Even the base plan which should be priced close to Rs 700 will offer 100Mbps browsing speed.
As the plans go upto Rs 10,000, we expect different speeds as we move up from the base plans. At the AGM, Reliance did not reveal any FUP limits and neither did it state the amount of data provided with the base plan.
Under the JioFiber preview offer, Reliance offers unlimited 100GB data at upto 100Mbps.
How much do JioFiber plans cost?
At its AGM held on August 12, Reliance revealed that its broadband plans will start from Rs 700 and go all the way up to Rs 10,000.
However, the company didn't get into the specifics and the information around detailed plans is still kept under wraps. We also don't know if the same JioFiber plans will offer cable TV channels or there are separate plans for that service.
Will JioFiber offer cable TV channels?
Reliance has positioned JioFiber as the ultimate home internet and TV service. The 4K set-top box that will be provided with home broadband subscriptions supports broadcast TV channels.
These channels will be sourced from local cable operators in different towns across India and Reliance has already acquired stakes in the three major operators-- Den, Hathway and GTPL.
Can I make voice calls from JioFiber connection?
Yes. Reliance bundles in the landline service with JioFiber at no extra cost. There are two ways through which a user can make voice calls from their Jio FixedLine number.
The first and simplest way is to connect the JioFiber router to a basic landline phone using the RJ-11 cable that's provided with the broadband connection. This will allow users to initiate phone calls from the landline unit to anywhere in India free of cost.
Now, in case you don't have a landline unit lying around, you can configure the allotted Jio FixedLine number to a smartphone by downloading the Jio Call app. This doesn't require a SIM card and users will be able to make calls using their JioFiber number.
Will JioFiber come bundled with OTT streaming services?
During the Reliance Jio AGM held last month, it was revealed that JioFiber will come with a subscription to major OTT streaming services. However, the company did not say which OTT players it has partnered with for subscriptions.
We also noticed Eros Now, Voot and ALTBalaji apps during the demo of Jio 4K set-top box, in addition to the Jio Cinema app.
Can I play games on JioFiber set-top box?
Reliance has revealed that using the 4K set-top box JioFiber subscribers will be able to play "console-like" games. To this end, the company has announced partnerships with Microsoft Game Studios, Riot Games, Tencent Games, Gameloft, Milestone and more. The set-top box is also compatible with most console controllers.
Jio is looking to populate its gaming catalog under Jio Games service which was briefly teased during the demo of JioFiber last month. Having said that, we have no information on how many games will be offered with the JioFiber subscription or whether its a separate service with different plans. There's also no information as to how the set-top box can render "console-like" games with little to no latency.
What is the JioFiber Welcome Offer?
Reliance Jio also revealed that under the JioFiber Welcome Offer, customers subscribing to Jio Forever Annual plans are eligible to get a free Full HD/4K television or a Home PC along with a 4K set-top box.
How to register for JioFiber?
Reliance JioFiber home broadband services are present in some states and are being rolled out to more cities as we near the commercial roll-out on September 5.
Interested people can head to fiber.jio.com to register their address for JioFiber services in their localities or RWA societies.
In case you already have the MyJio app installed on your smartphone, just open it and click on the JioFiber banner on the top. It will redirect you to a form where you need to put down your residential address for successful registration.
More details will be revealed on September 5 when JioFiber goes live for everyone.