In an honest sense, Reliance Jio has had a very mixed love/hate relationship with Indian consumers. Some don’t like the company because it disrupted the market and sent many players back into the arena, into early retirement. But some appreciate the “hero” role Jio played in bringing a digital revolution to India. It is very likely that this type of relationship will always be there and at the end of the day, Jio will not be worried about it, since it has the love of more than 400 million Indian customers. With 5G, Jio could go back to doing what he did in 2016-2017.
The company has kept quiet about most of the work it has been doing on 5G. It could mean two very different things. Firstly, Jio was afraid to make announcements because he wasn’t hitting targets or, secondly, Jio was so far ahead of the competition that he never wanted them to have a clue of what he was trying to do. Most likely it’s the latter here.
Jio is a smart player. The company has always tried to do something new and chart new paths instead of following an old, traditional model of making things work. However, Jio’s 5G plans are yet to be confirmed as the company hasn’t really come out with a strategy to the public and obviously isn’t expected to do so. But one thing is for sure: Jio will be very aggressive with the launch of 5G.
Jio Spectrum Wallet is Class Apart
The Akash Ambani-led telecommunications company has the kind of spectrum portfolio that none of its competitors have. So regardless of what Airtel or Vodafone Idea (Vi) say about not requiring 700 MHz to offer 5G, we all know that Jio has a huge advantage over them. With the 700 MHz spectrum, Jio can offer 5G services in rural areas at a much lower cost than the other telecom companies. Also, with sub-GHz spectrum for 5G, Jio will be able to offer the best indoor coverage to customers, resulting in market share gain.
Akash Ambani had hinted that Jio would launch 5G services on August 15, 2022. However, the telecommunications company has not given the public anything other than this statement to believe that it would happen. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is on track to provide 5G spectrum to telcos by August 12, 2022. So it will be very short time for telcos to roll out 5G in a three-day period. Until the 15 of August.
If Jio is back on the aggressive front with 5G and Airtel and Vi take longer to counter, Jio will end up consuming maximum market share. One thing that could make Airtel and Vi feel safe is that 5G smartphone penetration in India is still at an early stage. So Jio won’t have many ready consumers. But still, Jio could build trust on a scale that Airtel or Vi might not be able to.
Jio has enough spectrum to roll out 5G in every state in India. That in itself is something that should make competitors a bit nervous. On the other hand, Jio already has enough trust in the brand to mandate users to upgrade to 5G as quickly as possible. But what will be worth considering is the performance that Jio’s 5G networks can deliver.
If the service is satisfactory, Jio will again have the chance to disrupt Airtel and Vi. Airtel is still in a comfortable position as of now. But for Vi, it will be a nightmare. It’s not like competitors just sit back and watch. Of course, Airtel and Vi must have their strategies. So it’s not just about running it first, but also about running it correctly. Jio must be very careful with the promises he makes to customers.
Jio has a strong business to support 5G plans
One thing no one could argue with is that Jio has built a very strong business. Solid enough to make his 5G plans a huge success. There are already millions of users across the country who would be looking to experience what 5G feels like. Jio might be the one to bring them that experience first.
This is an exciting and nervous time for the Indian telecoms sector. What will happen, only time will tell. For now, let us know in the comments how you feel about Jio’s strategy.
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