If Jio nails FTTH too it could be game over for Indian rivals

Jio has been causing hell in India when it comes to mobile but a convergence offer to potentially be launched in March could elevate those headaches to death sentences.

A broadband offering has been in the making for a while, with previous rumours believing a late 2017 launch, but the latest report has late March as the new deadline. According to TelecomTalk, the launch of its own fiber broadband network, JioFiber, will aim to disrupt the market with the same price undercutting strategy which worked so well for mobile.

It should be worth noting that these are still rumours for the moment. Jio is planning to launch a broadband offering as well as a TV service, but confirmation on timelines have not been officially made. 100GB a month at 100 Mbps are also numbers which have been churned out of the rumour mill, but let’s wait and see.

Jio is already testing the offering in 10 cities and before too long it will be rolled out to 30 cities across the country through 2018. As part of the test, customers are getting 100GB of free data every month. Once the 2018 rollout has been completed Jio will be able to offer TV and broadband to 100 million customers, though the first stage will only see the service available in 50 million. Estimates put the number of households in India at around 250 million, so this is certainly a sizeable chunk of the population to start with.

The mobile market is in chaos as it stands with mergers, acquisitions and market exits, so there will be a few wary eyes watching developments here. Airtel Broadband, ACT Fiber, BSNL and MTNL have all dropped prices in recent months, possibly to avoid a repeat haemorrhage of customers the market witnessed in mobile, as well as launching various longer-term contracts to lock customers in. The incumbents are seemingly bracing themselves for the Jio onslaught.

Around the world telcos are striving towards convergence business model as a means to attract customers. It’s a strategy which is proven to reduce customer churn and offers economy of scale to improve efficiency. Jio has shown it can run an effective business with only one service offering, should it be able to nail the complicated job of convergence, it would certainly be a gloomy day for everyone else.

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