Have you been feeling like Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) while your friends are talking about the insanely-fast internet speed they've got after going through a mysterious trick of downloading an app or by purchasing a new phone you probably haven't heard of? Luckily, you do not need to go through Encyclopedia for the answers and memorize them to get involved in the conversation like Joey did in the third episode of the fourth season of F.R.I.E.N.D.S (The One with the Cuffs).
If you heard the word "Jio" in any of those conversations, they are not praising "live long", but it is actually name of the network that they are on. And, it is backed by one of the biggest names in the telecom industry you are well-versed with – Reliance. You don't feel so lost now, do you?
It all started a few months ago when Reliance launched its 4G service exclusively for its employees under a new brand called Jio. The word spread quickly as those select Reliance employees (more than one lakh) shared their enthralling experience of blazing fast internet on their mobile with their friends and relatives. Reliance Jio offered free high-speed internet in select stadiums during the T20 World Cup 2016 matches earlier this year.
Even then, some knew and some didn't of this new high-speed internet service. Weeks and months passed and suddenly Jio became the talk of the tinsel town. Reason – A peek of Reliance Jio's unbelievable tariffs were leaked online and the first three months of unlimited free internet and calling caught the eyes of many.
After that, mobile users eagerly waited for the commercial launch of Jio in India. But nothing was confirmed as the company's top rank officials said the service would be launched in the second half of 2016. That didn't disappoint the people as Reliance had already started expanding its test run of the Jio network with a larger group of people, relatives of the employees and buyers of Reliance LYF smartphones.
After almost 9 months since the soft launch of the service, Reliance hasn't commercially started rolling out its Jio service for the people of India. But one can easily get on board Reliance Jio network by getting a new SIM card for free by purchasing LYF-branded smartphones or simply by downloading Jio app on select Samsung phones.
Reliance may not have fully launched its 4G service across the country, but it certainly waged a price war in the telecom industry. We started to see disruptive plans from major players such as Airtel, BSNL, Vodafone, IDEA cellular and Aircel. It was called the Reliance Jio 4G effect.
Even as the better data plans and cheaper voice costs from existing carriers continue to create an appeal to the subscribers, there is still a lot of anticipation for Reliance Jio's commercial rollout. Jio might be on the verge of transforming the face of India's telecom industry, but it is dealing some problems of its own in the background, which is causing the delay.
Those who have tested Jio's network are well aware of the fact that its voice calling service is not half as good as its data services. But Reliance is working on improving it for the users. In a letter to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chairman R.S. Sharma, Reliance Jio said that operators must extend necessary points of interconnect to ensure the calls are completed to all destinations, Financial Express reported.
Without expediting the requisite points of interconnect augmentation, this situation will only get worse. Therefore, Reliance Jio's demand for additional points of interconnect is critical for its continued test trial and launch of commercial operations," the company said.
According to Reliance Jio, call failure rate is above 65 percent, which results in more than 1.6 crore call failures each day between Reliance Jio and other networks such as Airtel, Vodafone and Idea.
Such unequivocal denial to provide points of interconnect for interconnection to Reliance Jio is in blatant breach of the licence agreement. The licence agreement provides in very clear terms the obligation of the licensee to provide interconnection facilities to other licensees," it added.
The top executives of the telecom companies in the Cellular Operators' Association of India (COIA) had raised concern to the Department of Telecom (DoT) alleging Jio had launched its full service commercially in the name of test runs, but Reliance denied the claim saying its network is well under the test phase and ensuring high-quality service ahead of the commercial launch.
Once the operators offer the necessary support with the required points of interconnect with sufficient capacity and numbers, the call drops will be reduced and hence fasten the launch process across India.