Ambani explained during the AGM that their extensive optical fiber network connects them to over 200 million locations. The Jio AirFiber devices is aimed at providing last-mile connectivity to many parts of India.
Also Read: Jio announces launch of Jio AirFiber: How much it will cost, and how you can sign up for it
JioAirFiber plans will start from Rs 599, while the JioAirFiber Max will be priced upwards of Rs 1499. Bharti Airtel recently introduced its Xstream AirFiber at Rs 2,500, available with a monthly subscription of Rs 799 in Mumbai and Delhi, requiring an overall investment of approximately Rs 7,300 to get started.
Airtel's MD, Gopal Vittal, has acknowledged the challenge posed by the cost of FWA devices, which are currently nearly twice as expensive as typical home broadband routers.
Reliance Jio has a track record of disrupting markets to offer consumers affordable options, as demonstrated in the telecom industry. This pricing strategy could help Ambani solidify Jio as the preferred choice, at least while its rates remain competitive.
With Jio AirFiber, Reliance Jio aims to expand its potential customer base to over 200 million high-paying homes and premises within the next three years. To compete with the existing offering from Airtel, Jio may consider competitive pricing, discounted devices, or even free trial periods to challenge the six-month commitment that current offerings require.
India is seen as a significant market for FWA adoption due to its high data consumption and vast geographic coverage. While telcos are still awaiting the full financial benefits of 5G connectivity, analysts believe that FWA will emerge as the first 5G use case in India, especially since home broadband penetration is currently under 10%.
Ambani envisions Jio AirFiber expanding the telco's connected premises to 150,000 connections per day, a tenfold increase from what optical fiber alone would allow.
It's reminiscent of the disruption caused by the launch of Jio in India's telecom sector several years ago when it accustomed Indians to receiving 1-2GB of mobile data daily instead of the previous industry norm of monthly data allotments at higher prices. Ambani appears to be unveiling another disruptor from his playbook with this latest move.
The JioAirFiber provides Reliance an avenue for promoting its retail brands and OTT (Over-The-Top) offerings.
With this "New Reliance," Ambani is signaling a Reliance that serves as a one-stop shop for digital services. The launch of Jio AirFiber is part of Reliance's strategy to create an ecosystem that offers greater access to all of the company's products and services, including JioCinema, JioSaavn, and Reliance Retail, among others, making it a comprehensive destination for consumers.
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