Not all is well with Ambani’s Jio after a week of launch

Announcing Reliance Jio’s entry into the Indian telecom market, Reliance Industries’ Chairman Mukesh Ambani, said that the new telco will realise India’s digital dream and make it into a “data abundant” country.Ambani said that by March next year, 90% of Indians will be on Jio’s network. Read more here.

With the launch of Reliance Jio, the company also announced its various plans, which were quite appealing. But perhaps best of all, it announced the Jio Welcome program, under which you can use 4GB of 4G data daily on the Reliance Jio network without paying anything until December 31, 2016. That’s a lot of value to give away free, so it’s no surprise that everyone wants to be on the network now.

But the road seems bumpy after a week of the launch, During the Preview Offer period, when the number of users on the ground was very low, people would excitedly share on social media how fast the connections were. The Preview Offer could not realistically give a picture of what the Reliance Jio network would be like after the launch. One week in, it’s completely clear that speeds have plummeted, call drops are routine, and the network disconnects from time to time as it is slammed by huge numbers of users. During the Preview Offer period, seeing speeds between 20Mbps and 25Mbps was the norm in South Bengaluru. Now, seeing speeds in excess of 5Mbps is cause for celebration. Over an extended period of usage, typical speeds have stayed under 3.5Mbps.Read more here.

Reliance Jio has called for MNP support from other telcos, and said that it will record operator-wise call-drops data. Last week, Trai also met with telcos to discuss interconnect issues. The regulator has also asked the incumbent operators to provide “requisite number” of interconnect points to Jio “at the earliest” and ensure that consumers are not put at an inconvenience due to lack of connectivity.Existing operators are demanding higher termination charges than mandated 14 paise per minute fee for providing additional interconnection points to compensate for the “financial burden” due to “tsunami” of calls emanating from Jio’s network, led by its offer of free outgoing calls.
Trai, however, does not agree with the demand which was made in a meeting.Read more here.

But even leaving aside those concerns, Jio is definitely facing a tough time in terms of delivering its service.

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