Jio to expand FTTH trials to more Indian cities

James Pearce
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Reliance Jio Infocomm is to expand its trial of FTTH services after seeing "strong progress" in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Pune

Reliance Jio claims it is making strong progress on plans to roll out a fibre to the home (FTTH) business offering, after expanding trials in a number of Indian cities.

The mobile challenger, which launched in September, is running a pilot scheme in cities including Delhi,Mumbai, Chennai, and Pune, with a focus on home entertainment.

According to reports from India, these trials see Jio’s FTTH service bundles with JioMedia, a smart set top box, and routers. These will allow the operator, backed by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, to offer services such as HD TV, video on demand, and cloud services.

According to the Economic Times, Jio will also look at home automation services and the internet of things, as it looks to automate the entire home.

The reports came as Jio unveiled it has now hit 108 million mobile subscribers in just six months. The figures were disclosed as part of Jio’s financial results for the three months ending 31 March 2017.

One key driver in building these numbers was a free offer that saw Jio’s customers get mobile services for zero cost, and offer that has now turned into a paid-for service.

The offer was highly controversial within the Indian telecoms market, with rivals including Bharti Airtel and Vodafone both raising objections with regulator TRAI.

This policy unsurprisingly led Jio to post losses of $3.5 million, although around 70% of its users paid for a service, the operator claimed.

It remains to be seen if Jio will opt to offer a low-cost solution when it deploys its FTTH services, but given the disruption it has already caused in mobile, it is likely to be competitive.