Jio sees wireless broadband giving it an edge over fibre | The Financial Express

Jio sees wireless broadband giving it an edge over fibre

Owing to higher costs and certain administrative issues, the progress on providing broadband by laying fibre has been relatively slower.

Jio sees wireless broadband giving it an edge over fibre
Currently, Reliance Jio is adding about 200,000 fibre broadband subscribers every month. (IE)

By Jatin Grover

Months after revealing its plans to revolutionise the home broadband space with its wireless 5G, Reliance Jio believes that its approach for using 5G as an alternate to fibre broadband is better than competition.

“Inspite of all the fibre efforts, all national broadband missions, India has only 16-17 million homes connected to wireline broadband so far,” a senior official of the company said.

In August, the company said it will launch its Jio Air Fiber, which is a Wi-Fi device that will give fibre-like speeds to the consumers using 5G networks.

“Jio’s extensive fibre-based offering, supplemented by wireless home offering, will catapult India to leadership in home broadband services in the same way that Jio took India to global leadership in mobility services,” the company had said while announcing its Rs 80,000 crore acquisition of 5G spectrum in early August.

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Owing to higher costs and certain administrative issues, the progress on providing broadband by laying fibre has been relatively slower. Further, the price sensitive nature of the rural and semi-urban areas for fibre broadband, makes it difficult for operators to earn suitable revenue from that even at higher costs.

“So there we have an extensive opportunity to use the supplementary approach of taking the broadband into homes through 5G, which is Jio Air Fiber, which will allow us to rollout home broadband services faster,” the official said.

Currently, Reliance Jio is adding about 200,000 fibre broadband subscribers every month.

Apart from the home broadband space, the company also sees a strong business opportunity in the micro and small business space located at such areas where they don’t have access to a Wi-Fi.

“So what we are assuming is that data inside the home or a small premise is a must that changes the entire economic activity and that makes us believe that people will be ready to pay and that’s why we are pushing our envelope further for connecting homes, enterprises, etc,” the official said.

In comparison, competitor Bharti Airtel is seen taking the traditional route to tap the home broadband space.

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“Fibre is always going to better than wireless because it’s a dedicated pipe you are delivering to home, and you have full control over both the uplink, as well as downlink with no constraints on traffic and population in that area,” Gopal Vittal, managing director and chief executive officer of the Bharti Airtel had said during the post-results call with analysts in August.

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