Is Reliance Jio really offering you broadband internet?
Three weeks ago when Managing Director of Reliance Industries Ltd took centre stage he said that Jio has been vital in improving India’s position in data usage.
“With 100 crore GB of data traffic per month and 200 crore voice and video minutes a day, Jio has become the largest network globally in terms of data carried and contributed to India becoming the leading country in the world for mobile data usage!” Ambani said.
RJio announced that its tariff plans will become applicable from 1 April 2017 after a period of over 170 days.
"In addition to it’s offer of FREE VOICE (domestic) on its network – No Local, STD, Roaming charges, to any operator, anywhere in the country, Jio also provides the BEST DATA EXPERIENCE with the LOWEST PRICE GLOBALLY. The best-in-class tariff plans range from MRP 149 to MRP 4,999 for long-term plans, Jio announced two unique propositions for its customers– (i) Promise of the most affordable broadband data at all times via “Everyday More-Value” offer and (ii) “Jio Prime Membership” for its 100 million plus existing customers," Jio said.
In the scheme inaugurated on February 21 itself Ambani unveiled the Rs 303 plan which was an extension of the ‘Happy New Year’ offer.
The schemes announced by RJio allowed for free voice calling local and roaming, and at least 1GB data per day for 28 days but with an asterisk above the word ‘unlimited.’
RJio said that upon concluding the ‘4G data quota’ customers will continue to get unlimited data at 128 Kbps.
Department of Telecommunication (DoT) defined ‘broadband’ as “a data connection that is able to support interactive services including internet access and has the capability of the minimum download speed of 512Kbps to an individual subscriber from the Point of Presence (POP).”
Reliance Jio did not comment to the specific question regarding speed throttling. The story will be updated as and when the company replies.
“Fair Usage Policy (FUP) is something that has been around for a while and over the years people have found that their internet speeds have been brought down from what they had initially paid for. Broadband by definition is 512Kbps by DoT’s definition and the fact that Reliance Jio is reducing its speeds below this speed it is not broadband,” Nikhil Pahwa, Editor and Publisher, MediaNama on Wednesday told Zeebiz.
In his speech, Ambani also pointed out, “Remember, before Jio, India was 150th in the world in broadband penetration.”
Given the ‘freedom to use data,’ Ambani said Indians have shown that they could use data on par with ‘the most advanced nations.’
“Jio users consume nearly as much mobile data as the entire United States of America and nearly 50% more mobile data than all of China. A significant portion of this data is consumed as video and Jio carries nearly 5.5 crore hours of video daily on its network,” Ambani said.
In an investor presentation by Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), the company said that USA and China used 71 crore GB and 63 crore GB per month respectively.
“If you give people free data they will use it as much as they can,” Pahwa said further adding, “It is misleading consumers and they (RJio) shouldn’t be allowed to reduce it (broadband services) below 512Kbps.”
Jio’s restriction does not even match the earlier definition of broadband by the government.
In 2004, DoT described broadband as minimum download speed of 256 kbps to an individual subscriber.