Jio Mere laal

The story of India’s internet woes

It’s no secret, India having a large consumer base and going digital still struggles with internet. I should rephrase it to good internet. Even in 2016 there are many places in Delhi itself where your ‘4G/LTE’ turns into ‘G’, that’s the least of your problems. When airtel launched 4G services in India, there was a lot of complaint from people that their 3G speeds have gone down. It could have been a ploy to force people to switch over to 4G from 3G or maybe people were just looking to crack a joke.

Whatever the reason maybe airtel wasn’t the most reliable internet provider and their and other telecoms exorbitant charges were what was keeping this small group of telecom operators filthy rich. To make things worse even broadband internet has it’s own problems. Just because that wasn’t enough, you have poor connectivity in many places so you can’t really be sure how much useful that net pack will be.

Then today came this announcement that Reliance Jio is going to make voice calls free and the internet extremely cheap. How cheap? Rs. 50 for 1 gb. We’ve been complaining for far too long about how telecoms are taking us for a ride by providing sub standard service at high price and it looks like we were right. Thanks to a friend I got a chance to test out the internet service of Jio and it is way faster than Airtel 4g with speeds upto 30mbps against airtel’s 9–10 mbps which is close to 3G speeds.

It feels like the days of Dhirubhai Ambani all over again who vowed to put a mobile phone in the hands of every Indian and succeeded by breaking the high call rate monopoly of guess who, Airtel among others. That one stroke led to millions of handset purchases. Now we might get to relive those days. However I take the news with a pinch of salt. Mukesh Ambani is as shrewd as was his father. He’s not doing any favour as he has to run a business. It’ll be interesting to see how he takes his next steps and more importantly how will Airtel counter.

If other telcos risk losses by slashing prices, it will be a win win for all the consumers.By the looks of things they don’t have a choice as just Mukesh Ambani’s announcement wiped out 12000 cr capital of Airtel(shaky already). So to all the other players, better strap up if you want to stay relevant in the net market.