Reliance Jio is aiming to cover 99 per cent of India’s population by October this year. The Mukesh Ambani-led firm in collaboration with Samsung Electronics has announced to a roll-out of Internet of Things (IoT) network across the country.
The IoT network will support a variety of consumers and enterprises use cases which include vehicles tracking, smart appliances, smart metering, security, and surveillance. Besides, it is also exploring the possibility of working with third-party developers on IoT.
According to an official statement by Reliance Jio Infocomm, the firm is deploying around 8,000 to 10,000 towers every month; and by coming September or October (Diwali), the company is hopeful to reach a coverage of 99 per cent.
The company’s statement comes after the TRAI report, which said that the number of telecom subscribers has increased by 4.79 million to 1190.67 million (1.19 billion) in December 2017.
Among the Access Service Providers, Jio topped the chart with the net addition over 8 million new wireless subscribers. It was followed by Idea Cellular with 2.43 million new subscribers, while Vodafone added 1.5 million new subscribers in the same time period.
Reliance Jio, which sneaked into Fast Company’s world’s 50 Most Innovative Companies for 2018, claims to have a subscriber base of 160 million paid customers in less than 16 months of operations.
On being asked about as how much time Jio would take to roll out IoT, the company said that it needs to create an entire ecosystem for that. Rather than of doing city-by-city launch, it would launch IoT pan-India.
One of the biggest claims by Jio, the firm said that its coverage in LTE would surpass 2G coverage. Over switching of Jio’s network from 4G to 5G, the firm said that it could be done by a software upgrade.
Covering 99% population not an easy task for Jio
Since its inception, Jio, the VoLTE-only operator in the country with coverage across all 22 telecom circles in India has been on the expansion spree.
“India ranked 154th in the world in mobile internet penetration and today it is number one in the data consumption. We believe that today we have the largest data consumption network in the world and largest video consumption network in the world,” said Reliance Jio senior vice-president technology Tareq Amin at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018.
However, this is only one side of the story. Recently, UK-based OpenSignal released a report “State of LTE”, in which India recorded the slowest 4G LTE speed in the world at an average speed of 6.13 Mbps. The country was ranked last out of 77 countries on the list.
Reliance Jio might have topped the chart of 4G broadband service providers by recording a peak download speed of 25.6 Mbps for November 2017, but the Internet speed is far from any consistency.
Last year, OpenSignal had released a similar report on Reliance Jio. It claimed Reliance Jio’s average 4G LTE speed was 3.9Mbps.
Vodafone, the closest competitor to RJio, registered a top download speed of 10 Mbps followed by Bharti Airtel 9.8 Mbps and Idea Cellular 7 Mbps in November 2017, as per TRAI data.
RJio in war with COAI
Recently, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) alleged that TRAI’s regulations, including its rules and definition of predatory pricing, had distorted the market. Reliance Jio had termed COAI’s allegations as “defamatory” and “malicious” and also demanded that both the association and Mathews tender public apology on the issue.
However, the association had said its “differences” are with orders of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) not a specific operator.
The development was reported by Mint.