“They informed us that the (new) date is Apr 15,” he said.
“There is no way they can launch on the first,” he said about the possibility of an Apr 1 launch.
The company, however, is fast gearing up for the launch.
“Things are being put in place.. handsets are now available even in smaller shops,” he said.
It should be noted that these dates should only be taken as indicative, as has been proven by previous such claims. The company will start its services once it feels that it has resolved the big technical and commercial issues outstanding.
Jio has already taken its 4G signal to over 1 lakh villages and 18,000 towns and cities. In comparison, India’s biggest telecom company Bharti Airtel is present in less than 1,000 cities and Idea Cellular in around 400 towns and cities.
While Idea Cellular has a fiber network of around 1 lakh km, RJio has already reached 2.5 lakh km.
Over the last few days, Jio has opened up its Partner Central website for coordinating with its distributors and retailers.
Another change is that it no longer redirects its main website www.jio.com to www.ril.com as it used to.
According to Jio’s Partner Central website, Jio’s business will be divided into four verticals — ‘Device and SIM’, ‘Personal WiFi, Home Broadband and Public Hotspots.
Out of these, the ‘Home Broadband’ segment will also turn out to be very interesting as it holds the possibility of fiber to home services.
The company has given the photo of a broadband router to symbolize ‘Home Broadband’ instead of a MiFi device, suggesting that it may be looking at a fiber-based service as its main vehicle for delivering broadband to homes.
The company is expected to launch Jio Fiber services in dozens of cities within one year of launching its 4G services.
The fiber service will be launched in towns like district headquarters initially before being expanded to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. Eventually, Jio hopes to expand its fiber network to nearly all towns and cities in the country, though a final call will be taken after incorporating the commercial results of its fiber launch in the bigger towns and cities.
The fiber service will support rewind TV, video calling etc., and also serve as a backbone for its 4G service as it can launch any number of base stations (small towers) very fast and at negligible cost once it has the fiber network in place.
Though the Kerala launch has been postponed by a few days, the possibility of a launch taking place in the Metros on Apr 1 cannot be denied. Mukesh Ambani, chairman of the company, had told shareholders a year ago that the year beginning on Apr 1 will be the first ‘full year’ of commercial operations for the company.
For this to happen, it must start commercial operations at least in one city by Apr 1.