Reliance Jio is set to enter the wired broadband sector this month

When it comes to data, business travel website Live From a Lounge Editor Ajay Avatane said Jio is currently offering a 100GB cap in Mumbai with a selection of top-ups. “Currently, users get 100GB of data every month, and if they run out of data, they need to go to the MyGio app and top-up with a recharge. The top-up is currently free, and they get an additional 100 GB of data, ”he explained. He said he was involved in the Geo Gigafiber trial in January when he started laying optic fiber cables at his neighbor, Ghatkopar in Mumbai.

A source who works as a doctor in Chandigarh, a leading hospital, said he was able to get into the beta trial because he saw people burning fiber at his house. In cities like Chandigarh, the entire infrastructure for fiber is hooked up to power poles. Here Gigafiber’s data caps follow a different system than in Mumbai. “They give you 40GB increments 25 times a month. They call it a special tariff voucher, ”the source said. This means users can get up to 1,000 GB per month as part of the beta trial. The speed is slower than what they advertised. “They’re doing 100 Mbps ads, but I’m getting 70-75 Mbps download and 60-65 Mbps upload speeds,” he said.

A consistent feature of the source and incarnate locations is that the company charges Rs 4,500 ($ 65.53) as a security deposit for the installation of the service. As part of this, customers will see the Android device as a set-top box but double as a wireless router and can connect to the television. The device has the output for the phone landline connection. However, in the case of Chandigarh source, a set-top box for television will be installed later, officials said. Only the router was provided to him.

Media reports indicate that the initial tests were carried out in Navi Mumbai and some parts of South Mumbai.

Ken, a Geo customer care executive, said it takes six months to connect customers once they are registered. If fiber is already installed in a neighborhood, it will drop for a month after obtaining permits from housing societies.

Now that Geo has stepped up, the question is whether this will translate to market dominance when the gigafiber is out of beta phase.

Street fight

Unlike their wireless cellular operations, Geo is unlikely to explode on the scene when it comes to wired broadband. The reality is that wired broadband play is very different from wireless telecom. The latter is easy to scale, and telephone towers provide coverage for a large number of people. The former, however, requires a lot of effort to reach every customer.

The CEO of an MSO company, who does not want to be named, explained that it is not easy for companies to provide personal housing. “For a single home, it takes two people and at least 3-4 days. If someone has to do it underground, which MSOs often do, it can be very difficult. It will take years for Geo to penetrate [the sector], ”he says.

Similarly, Udit Mehrotra, CEO and Managing Director of Gurugram-based ISP Spectra, said it could take weeks to months for Spectra to break into new surroundings. To illustrate his point, the customer takes several steps to get a fiber connection. “If you go to the Spectra website and order fiber broadband, this can be a very attractive process. You must fill out the paperwork. Then we have to verify the details. We call to settle an appointment. You need to attend or make sure there is another. It takes two 2-3 hours to fix the whole thing. You also need to accept the path that cable takes to enter your home. Then our team will connect fiber broadband, ”said Mehrotra.

And then there are permissions.

To enter a town or city, a company must obtain the right of way from local municipal agencies. After that, more permits are needed from residential communities and housing societies to enter the neighborhood. With commercial buildings, the owners must give the permits.