Reliance Jio is targeting 100 million TV households in 30 cities of the country.
After disrupting Indian telecom, Reliance Jio might well be turning its attention towards another sector – cable television. Reports suggest that the Mukesh Ambani-owned firm is planning to roll out a high-speed fiber to the home (FTTH) broadband network early next year. Not only that, a Jio TV service would also be bundled with the FTTH network across 30 small and big cities. Jio is targeting over 100 million television households in the country, the report added.
Jio would be providing a special router that connects multiple TV devices. It would likely be available at a refundable deposit of Rs 4,500. Once its broadband service is rolled out, the firm is looking at an ARPU of Rs 1,000. That is on the higher side, given ARPUs for even DTH providers today is under Rs 300. This is also an indication that Jio could offer additional services or content bouquets on top of a conventional television package. At present, the JioFiber trials can be availed on an invite basis only.
Now, why is Jio shifting focus to satellite television? First, the opportunity is huge. India is a predominantly TV market still. Second, the telecom honeymoon is over and the market is stabilizing as all operators, including Jio, are steadily raising tariffs. Hence, a new battleground ought to be identified, and in its July AGM, Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani had stated that Jio’s broadband would be the next monetization opportunity. “Jio remains on track to bring optic fiber connectivity to enterprises, home and public place. Most infratstructure is already in place,” he had said.