- Not to be confused with Reliance Communications
Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, d/b/a Jio, is an Indian mobile network operator. Owned by Reliance Industries and headquartered in Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, it operates a national LTE network with coverage across all 22 telecom circles. Jio does not offer 2G or 3G service, and instead uses voice over LTE to provide voice service on its network.
|Subsidiary of Reliance Industries|
Jio soft launched on 27 December 2015 (the eve of what would have been the 83rd birthday of Reliance Industries founder Dhirubhai Ambani), with a beta for partners and employees, and became publicly available on 5 September 2016. As of 31th December 2018, it is the third largest mobile network operator in India and the nineth largest mobile network operator in the world with over 280.117 million subscribers.
In June 2010, Reliance Industries (RIL) bought a 96% stake in Infotel Broadband Services Limited (IBSL) for ₹4,800 crore (US$670 million). Although unlisted, IBSL was the only company that won broadband spectrum in all 22 circles in India in the 4G auction that took place earlier that year. Later continuing as RIL's telecom subsidiary, Infotel Broadband Services Limited was renamed as Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL) in January 2013.
In June 2015, Jio announced that it would start its operations all over the country by the end of 2015. However, four months later in October, the company's spokesmen sent out a press release stating that the launch was postponed to the first quarter of the financial year 2016–2017.
Later in July, a PIL filed in the Supreme Court by an NGO called the Centre for Public Interest Litigation, through Prashant Bhushan, challenged the grant of pan-India licence to Jio by the Government of India. The PIL also alleged that Jio was allowed to provide voice telephony along with its 4G data service, by paying an additional fees of just ₹165.8 crore (US$23 million) which was arbitrary and unreasonable, and contributed to a loss of ₹2,284.2 crore (US$320 million) to the exchequer.
The Indian Department of Telecom (DoT), however, refuted all of CAG's claims. In its statement, DoT explained that the rules for 3G and BWA spectrum didn't restrict BWA winners from providing voice telephony. As a result, the PIL was revoked, and the accusations were dismissed.
The 4G services were launched internally to Jio's partners, its staff and their families on 27 December 2015. Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, who is also the brand ambassador of Jio, kickstarted the launch event which took place in Reliance Corporate Park in Navi Mumbai, along with celebrities like musician A R Rahman, actors Ranbir Kapoor and Javed Jaffrey, and filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani. The closed event was witnessed by more than 35000 RIL employees some of whom were virtually connected from around 1000 locations including Dallas in the US.
The company commercially launched its services on 5 September 2016. Within the first month, Jio announced that it had acquired 16 million subscribers. This is the fastest ramp-up by any mobile network operator anywhere in the world. Jio crossed 50 million subscriber mark in 83 days since its launch, subsequently crossing 100 million subscribers on 22 February 2017. By October 2017 it had about 130 million subscribers.
Radio frequency summary
|Andhra Pradesh & Telangana|
|Bihar & Jharkhand|
|Uttar Pradesh (East)|
|Jammu and Kashmir|
|Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh|
|Uttar Pradesh (West)|
Products and services
On 21 July 2017, Jio introduced its first affordable 4G feature phone, powered by KaiOS, named as JioPhone. The price announced for it is ₹0 with a security deposit of ₹1500 which can be withdrawn back by the user by returning the JioPhone at Jio stores only after three years. This phone was released for beta users on 15 August 2017 and pre-booking for regular users started on 24 August 2017.
A second model with a QWERTY keyboard, as well as Facebook, WhatsApp and YouTube applications, was released in July 2018 for ₹2,999.
The company launched its 4G broadband services throughout India in September 2016. It was slated to release in December 2015 after some reports said that the company was waiting to receive final permits from the government. Jio offers fourth-generation (4G) data and voice services, along with peripheral services like instant messaging and streaming movies and music.
The company has a network of more than 250,000 km of fiber optic cables in the country, over which it will be partnering with local cable operators to get broader connectivity for its broadband services. With its multi-service operator (MSO) licence, Jio will also serve as a TV channel distributor and will offer television-on-demand on its network.
In June 2015, Jio entered into an agreement with domestic handset maker Intex to supply 4G handsets capable of voice over LTE (VoLTE). However, in October 2015, Jio announced that it would be launching its own mobile handset brand named LYF.
On 25 January 2016, the company launched its LYF smartphone series starting with Water 1, through its chain of electronic retail outlets, Reliance Retail. Three more handset models have been released so far, namely Water 2, Earth 1, and Flame 1.
Prior to its pan-India launch of 4G data and telephony services, Jio has started providing free Wi-Fi hotspot services in cities throughout India including Surat, Ahmedabad in Gujarat, and Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, Indore, Jabalpur, Dewas and Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, select locations of Mumbai in Maharashtra, Kolkata in West Bengal, Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, Bhubaneswar in Odisha, Mussoorie in Uttarakhand, Collectorate's Office in Meerut, and at MG Road in Vijayawada among others.
In March 2016, Jio started providing free Wi-Fi internet to spectators at six cricket stadiums hosting the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 matches. Jionet was made available in Wankhede Stadium (Mumbai), Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium (Mohali), Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium (Dharamshala), Chinnaswamy Stadium (Bengaluru), Feroz Shah Kotla (Delhi), and Eden Gardens (Kolkata) in India.
Jio Giga Fiber
In May 2016, Jio launched a bundle of multimedia apps on Google Play as part of its upcoming 4G services. While the apps are available to download for everyone, a user will require a Jio SIM card to use them. Additionally, most of the apps are in the beta phase. Notable apps include:
- JioChat - instant messaging app
- JioCinema - online HD video library
- JioCloud - cloud-based backup tool
- JioMags - e-reader for magazines
- JioMoney Wallet - online payments/wallet app
- JioSaavn (earlier, JioMusic) - for online and offline music streaming in English and Indian languages
- JioSecurity - security app
- Jio4GVoice (earlier, JioJoin) - VoLTE phone simulator
- MyJio - manage Jio account and digital services associated with it
Affordable 4G phones
Reliance Jio has partnered with Google to manufacture affordable 4G handsets. These phones will run exclusively on Jio network. The two companies are also working on developing software for smart-TV services. Both were expected to launch in 2017.
Jio has also launched Wi-Fi routers by the name JioFi.
Branding and marketing
Location-based AR game Pokémon Go was launched in India in December, 2016 in collaboration with Jio in which hundreds of Jio stores and other Reliance marts and shopping malls like Reliance Trends and Reliance Digital became Sponsored PokéStops and Gyms.
Reception of Jio Prime
By July, 12.55 crore Jio customers had opted for Jio Prime. The last date for registration to Jio Prime membership was 31 March 2017. This was extended until 15 April 2017 along with an introduction of a new offer, "Jio Summer Surprise", which gave customers three months of free services. On 6 April 2017, TRAI advised Jio to withdraw this offer.
Issue with incumbents
In September 2016, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) summoned Jio and the country's existing telecom operators like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea Cellular to meet and discuss an issue regarding interconnection between the operators. This was a result after Jio complained to TRAI and Department of Telecom (DoT) about other operators not honoring their commercial agreements to let Jio use their network resources. The company further added that the operators are trying to sabotage its entry into the telecom scene. However, DoT dismissed the request and directed TRAI to help settle the dispute amicably. Moreover, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) requested TRAI to include all the operators in the discussion instead of the three.
The incumbent operators had previously approached the country's PMO to reiterate their stance they "are in no way obliged or in any position to entertain Jio's requests for interconnection points as they do not have either the network or the financial resources to terminate the latter's humongous volumes of potentially asymmetric voice traffic." Responding to this, Mukesh Ambani, owner of Jio, said, "All operators have publicly said last week that they will provide this (interconnect and MNP). So, we are waiting. These are all great companies. They have their own reputations to protect. I am confident they won't violate the law." Commenting about number portability, he added, "The number belongs to the consumer. No operator can cause trouble if they want to change operators." However, on 12 September 2016, Idea Cellular agreed to allow Jio to use 196 of its interconnection access points.
Alleged subscriber data breach
- Mukesh Ambani's son Akash Ambani joins Reliance Industries; begins at telecom arm Reliance Jio, The Economic Times
- "Press Release on Telecom Subscription Data as on 31st December, 2018" (PDF). www.trai.gov.in. 20 February 2019.
- Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, Cellular Operators Association of India
- Reliance Jio Infocomm plans to launch pan-India LTE, RCR Wireless News
- "Jio opens Mobile Number Portability, urges incumbent telcos to fulfil regulatory obligations". India Today. 2016-09-03. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
- Reliance Jio Infocomm launches 4G services for its employees, The Economic Times, December 27, 2015, retrieved December 29, 2015
-  Jio GigaFiber Announced for 1,100 Cities, Registrations Begin August 15
- Reliance Industries buys 95% stake in Infotel Broadband for Rs 4,800 cr, The Economic Times Business Line
- RIL's Infotel Broadband renamed Reliance Jio Infocomm, The Times of India Business Line
- Reliance Jio to launch commercial operations by December; to alter telecom industry landscape, say experts, The Economic Times
- Reliance Jio likely to delay its December pan-India launch, Live Mint
- "Petition against 4G licence to Reliance Jio: Apex court seeks Centre's reply". The Hindu. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
- "Reliance Jio goes for the kill". Rediff.com. 17 January 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
- "DoT refutes CAG's charges of favoring Reliance Jio by allowing it to convert its ISP permit into a unified license". The Economic Times. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
- Reliance Jio 4G launch in 28 photos: Shah Rukh Khan, AR Rahman, Ambani family make the event memorable, CNN-IBN, December 27, 2015, retrieved December 29, 2015
- Reliance Jio launches 4G service for employees, Business Standard, December 27, 2015, retrieved December 29, 2015
- Reliance Jio 4G Services Launched for Reliance Employees, Gadgets 360 - NDTV, December 25, 2015, retrieved December 29, 2015
- Reliance Jio employees to get freebies, discount on 4G service, Gadgets 360 - NDTV, December 25, 2015, retrieved December 29, 2015
- "Reliance Jio creates world record: 16 million subscribers in one month". The Indian Express. 2016-10-09. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
- "Reliance Jio crosses 50 million subscriber mark in 83 days". 29 November 2016.
- Doval, Pankaj (22 February 2017). "Reliance Jio crosses 100 million users within 6 months - Times of India". The Times of India. Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
- "Dirt-cheap mobile data is a thrill for Indian consumers". The Economist. 5 October 2017.
- "Reliance Jio & 8 Other Global Telecom Operators Forge Alliance To Expand Reach & Digital Footprint". Trak.in - Indian Business of Tech, Mobile & Startups. 2016-02-15. Retrieved 2017-05-09.
- "Jio is now part of a global operator alliance including BT, Deutsche Telekom and others – Tech2". Tech2. 2016-02-16. Retrieved 2017-05-09.
- Pan India 2016 spectrum holding data sheet (updated), Telecom Talk, retrieved 25 January 2019
- Reliance Jio to share RCom spectrum in seven circles, The Hindu Business Line
- "Reliance Jio Signs Deal With BSNL to Address One of Its Potential Pain Points".
- "Reliance Jio ties up with Samsung to 'bring' 5G in India | Gadgets Now". Gadget Now. Retrieved 2017-05-09.
- "JioPhone announced: A quick look at price, features, plans and availability". TechRadar. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
- "jio phone launch: Reliance Jio 4G feature phone: Here's all you want to know about it - The Economic Times". m.economictimes.com. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
- Reliance Jio to launch commercial operations by December; to alter telecom industry landscape, say experts, The Economic Times
- Reliance to launch Jio by Dec, set to kick off pricing war, Business Standard
- Reliance Jio looking to partner local cable firms in broadband push, Livemint
- "WATER 2 Smartphone", MyLYF.com, 11 May 2016, archived from the original on 10 April 2016, retrieved 11 May 2016
- Intex ties up with Reliance Jio to supply 4G handsets, The Indian Express
- Reliance Retail to sell 4G smartphones under 'LYF' Brand, Economic Times
- Reliance Jio Unveiled A 4G Device Under Lyf Brand, Gizmodo - India, 10 January 2016, retrieved 10 February 2016
- Reliance Jio unveils low-cost 4G mobile phones LYF, The Financial Express, 8 January 2017, retrieved 10 February 2016
- LYF smartphone
- RELIANCE JIO LYF WATER 1 LAUNCHED IN INDIA FOR RS. 14,999, Maktech, 7 February 2016, archived from the original on 5 March 2016, retrieved 9 February 2016
- Reliance's LYF Water 2 Goes Official in India: specifications, features, price and availability, GSM Insider, 9 February 2016, retrieved 10 February 2016
- Lyf Earth 1 Price, Specifications, Features, Digit, 1 February 2016, retrieved 10 February 2016
- Singh, Saurabh (27 January 2016), Reliance Jio's Lyf Earth 1, Water 1 & Water 2 phones listed online, prices start at Rs.14,690, India Today, retrieved 10 February 2016
- Reliance Lyf Flame 1 vs Xiaomi Redmi 2 vs Coolpad Note 3 Lite, TechRadar - India, 10 February 2016, retrieved 10 February 2016
- Reliance Jio offers strategic Wi-Fi hotspot free services to increase user base, Mobiletor
- Beguwala, Esmail (December 19, 2015). "Reliance Jio launches high-speed Wi-Fi service 'Jionet' in 55 locations across Indore". Telecom Talk. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
- Reliance Jio launches unlimited free WiFi in Mumbai for Ganesh Utsav, The Indian Express
- Reliance Jio Introduces Free Public Wifi in Kolkata, How to Use Jionet Wifi ?, Telecom Talk
- Reliance Jio launches free Wi-Fi service in Lucknow's Hazratganj, The Economic Times - Telecom
- Reliance Jio Launches 4G Wi-Fi Internet Service in Bhubaneswar, Gadgets 360
- Mussoorie, the First Hill Station to receive Reliance Jio's Wi-Fi Service, Reliance News, archived from the original on 24 November 2015[unreliable source?]
- Reliance Jio to offer free 4G-backed WiFi service at Meerut Collectorate, The Economic Times
- Reliance Jio rolls out wi-fi service at MG Road in Vijayawada, The Times of India, 11 January 2016, retrieved 12 January 2016
- "T20 World Cup 2016: Free unlimited Wi-Fi at 6 stadiums, courtesy Reliance Jio".
- Chedalla, Teja (2016-05-05). "8 Reliance Jio Specific Apps go Live on Google Play Store, iOS coming soon". PhoneRadar. Retrieved 2016-05-20.
- Abbas, Muntazir (2015-10-16). "Jio Chat crosses 2 million users in less than six months". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2016-05-20.
- "Reliance to launch Jio On Demand with over 450 TV channels". Indian Television. 2016-02-19. Retrieved 2016-05-20.
- "Exclusive First look at Jio Drive : India's answer to Google drive and One drive, to offer 100 GB storage". Telecom Talk. 2014-12-05. Retrieved 2016-05-20.
- "Exclusive First look at Reliance Jio Mags: Jio's answer to Google's Play Newsstand". Telecom Talk. 2014-12-08. Retrieved 2016-05-20.
- Bendre, Ritesh (12 May 2016), "Reliance JioMoney Wallet app first impressions: Good potential, needs design overhaul", Boy Genius Report, retrieved 20 May 2016
- "Reliance Jio Offers 4G Connections Through Referral Scheme - CXOtoday.com". www.cxotoday.com. 2016-05-06. Retrieved 2015-05-23.
- "Jio Join app: First look and comprehensive feature review". Telecom Talk. 2016-03-16. Retrieved 2016-05-20.
- Bhupta, Malini (2016-05-10). "Reliance Jio test drive: service open to select customers through invite only". Business Standard India. Retrieved 2016-05-25.
- "MyJio App Crosses 100 Million Downloads". News18. 2017-08-11. Retrieved 2017-08-11.
- www.ETTelecom.com. "Reliance Jio working with Google to launch affordable 4G smartphone, software for smart TV - ET Telecom". ETTelecom.com. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
- "Reliance JioFi Device Price, How to Buy, and Everything You Need to Know". NDTV. 1 September 2016. Retrieved 7 April 2017.
- Bhupta, Malini (December 25, 2015), SRK is brand ambassador of Reliance Jio, Business Standard, retrieved December 29, 2015
- Shah Rukh Khan is Reliance Jio's brand ambassador, Brand Equity - The Economic Times, December 26, 2015, retrieved December 29, 2015
- Mukherjee, Promit (December 24, 2015), Reliance Jio ropes in Shah Rukh Khan as brand ambassador, Livemint, retrieved December 29, 2015
- "Pokémon GO is now available in India as Niantic partners with Reliance Jio". The Indian Express. 2016-12-13. Retrieved 2017-09-15.
- "Reliance Jio stopping 3-month complimentary Summer Surprise offer: 5 things to know". Hindustan Times. 7 April 2017.
- "Truce in sight? Trai summons Airtel, Vodafone and Idea to settle fight with Reliance Jio - The Economic Times".
- "You can't hold off Reliance Jio for long, Mukesh Ambani tells rivals - The Economic Times".
- Jain, Upasana (12 September 2016). "Idea agrees to give Reliance Jio interconnection points".
- "Reliance Jio data breached: Why it matters, what it means for you, and everything to know". The Indian Express. 2017-07-10. Retrieved 2017-07-10.
- "Reliance Jio probing claims of alleged data breach of millions of subscribers". Hindustan Times. 2017-07-10. Retrieved 2017-07-10.