Reliance Jio Boasts of 72.4 Mln Subscribers in 4 Months; Accepts Slower Speeds and Call Failures


Reliance Jio to Bring 4G VoLTE Smartphones at Rs. 999; Another Disruption From Jio?

The telco that shook the industry – Reliance Jio – has outed its statistics as of December 2016. Reliance Industries has released its ‘Financial Results 3Q 2016-2017’ report that shows some interesting statistics about Jio’s growth and the journey till now.

We all know that Jio has been growing at a very fast speed, and had recorded 50 million subscribers in 83 days, on a mission of 100 million till March 2017 end. Mukesh Ambani and the Jio team is working hard to get as many users on board during their free introductory offer period.

The report claims that Reliance Jio recorded 72.4 million subscribers as of December 2016, which equated to just 4 months, thereby making it the fastest growing technology company in the world. Andhra Pradesh leads the pack with 6.9 million subscribers, Gujarat at second with 5.6 million subscribers and Delhi at third with 5.4 million subscribers.

According to the TRAI data for October 2016, Jio had notched up 35.61 million subscribers in first 53 days of launch. So in next 60 days till December 31st Dec 2016, Jio added roughly 37 million subscribers.

Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka rank quite close at 5.0, 4.9 and 4.5 million subscribers respectively. Earlier Gujarat and Telangana were leading the pack and the trend seems to continue.

The company says that the Happy New Year, or the introductory offer, has been one of the biggest reasons for such growth. Jio is adding approximately 1.3 million subscribers a day in peak load, taking 5 minutes on an average per activation.

However, amongst all the positive, Reliance mentioned that the call services were not as expected by the customers, and they were shadowed by the competitors. Call failure rates hovers between 2-20% and the company is looking to improve it.

92% customers experienced top-class data speeds on their sims, while 8% experienced congestion due to abnormally high data users. As per TRAI MySpeed portal, average download speed on Jio network at 18.17 Mbps in Dec-2016, twice that of any other operator.

Reliance Jio sim can also be home delivered, making it easier to enjoy the free services. The company also boasted about the MyJio apps which are gaining popularity. All the apps seem to have a high rating on the Play Store, but, we feel that the UI on these apps could see some tremendous improvement.

How is Reliance planning to improve Jio?

The company has achieved almost 75% of its goal in less than 70% of the time. The next three months will also see a fast growth, and the 100 million mark will be easy to reach. However, as more and more subscribers sign-up, the speeds will come down and the network will become less reliable.

To avert this situation, Mukesh Ambani has pumped in Rs. 30,000 crores into Jio to improve network coverage and the infrastructure to support 4G LTE voice calls and data. As VoLTE becomes a norm of the future, the company has to invest now to allow it to grow.

Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea have been directed by TRAI to provide interconnection points to Jio, but these telcos are not letting it be so easy with Reliance. Users are facing regular call drops, making it frustrating for both the company as well as the subscribers, which directly affects the retention rate.

If the network coverage improves, the call drops would reduce and the speeds would become stable. At least in Delhi, the coverage is a big issue and the internet speeds vary by a lot in close by areas. As the company looks to expand its services, it should focus on the very basic support systems first.

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