RIL AGM 2020: Jio Fiber trajectory could grab the spotlight
Reliance Jio Fiber was commercially launched at the last year’s RIL AGM. And this year we are expecting the company to elaborate the roadmap ahead for the fiber broadband service.
Reliance is gearing up for its 43rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) on July 15 and the company is going to make a host of new announcements and give an update on its existing products and services.
We are expecting JioFiber to get some spotlight as it was one of the marquee announcements at the last year's RIL AGM. The low-cost fibre-based broadband network was launched with a comprehensive ecosystem which included Mixed Reality, 4K content, and other IoTs. The broadband service also included a self-branded Jio set-top-box.
Reliance Jio tried to replicate its mobile strategy for the broadband service – low-cost packages with several bundled goodies. The catch, however, was that the penetration of fixed broadband had not been at par with the wireless mobile broadband. The arrival of Jio, however, did create a ripple in the segment, forcing the biggest rival Airtel to lower tariffs and offer similar bundled goodies.
Since its launch, Reliance Jio Fiber has made marginal gains in the broadband market, nothing like its meteoric rise in the mobile space. According to the latest TRAI subscription data, Reliance Jio had 0.87 million wired broadband subscribers as of March 31, 2020.
Jio's subscriber base is significantly lower than the leading BSNL's 8.08 million. Airtel had 2.47 million users. Atria and Hathway had 1.61 and 0.97 million users, respectively.
One of the possible reasons why Jio Fiber may not have taken off at the same speed as Jio mobile broadband is the absence of disruptive pricing. For instance, Jio Fiber's entry-level monthly plan is priced at ₹699. Airtel, on the other hand, offers ₹799 plan as the entry-level broadband service.
Reliance Jio Fiber is set to get a new lease of life at the company's annual general meeting. According to a BusinessInsider report, Reliance is planning to raise more than a billion dollars from Saudi Arabia's sovereign fund. The new funding is likely to be used for Jio's Fiber InvIT.
Another recent report suggests that Reliance is not going to shy away from giving another push to its fiber services. The company is aiming to reach 2 crore subscribers through Jio Fiber, TimesNow reported. The company has also planned to reach 99% of the population through fiber.