The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.
Glen Savio Palmer, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur
The fourth generation mobile technology, better known as 4G, has recently taken the country by storm. Most of the big players in the telecom space have launched their own 4G services, promising the highest internet speed. Even in popular media, marketing gimmicks such as the “Airtel 4G girl” have stimulated enough interest in the public. In this scenario, the entry of a new player into the market seems difficult to execute successfully.
Mukesh Ambani, the Chairman and MD of Reliance Industries Ltd., seems to think otherwise. “The commercial roll-out of our Jio services this year will digitally enable a billion Indians and propel growth for India and Reliance,” he said in a recent press release. Reliance Jio, the telecom arm of Reliance Industries, launched full scale service offerings for group employees, partners, vendors and associates on a trial basis on December 28, 2015. According to Reliance, “Over half a million users have been on boarded on the network. The initial feedback is very encouraging and has established smooth operations of all aspects of the network”. The company also said that average monthly consumption per user is in excess of 18 GB within the first month of service and is increasing rapidly whereas average voice usage is over 250 minutes within the first month. These numbers indicate heavy data consumption, which directly translates into high earnings for the company.
It is important to note that Reliance Jio is presently the only operator to hold a pan-India 4G license. This gives it a great edge over its competitors, as mobile phone users always prefer seamless connectivity. With the deep pockets that Reliance possesses, it will not be surprising if we actually see a pan-India 4G service launch from the first day of the commercial rollout of the service. And as Jio prepares to lock horns with Airtel and other 4G service providers, it will once again be the customers who shall have the last laugh.