Jio Fiber: Free TVs with India’s latest broadband service

A high-speed broadband service which launched on Thursday is expected to disrupt India’s booming internet and streaming industries.

Jio Fiber’s annual plans include free TVs, set-top boxes and subscriptions to premium streaming services.

Telecom giant Reliance will charge subscribers $10 to $118 a month for speeds ranging from 100Mbps to 1Gbps.

The free services, coupled with relatively low-cost internet, are likely to spark a fierce price war.

Competitors and customers are braced for a repeat of 2016, when mobile network prices plunged after Reliance introduced free calls and data.

Speaking at the company’s annual general meeting on 12 August, Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani told shareholders the plans would cost “less than one-tenth of global rates”.

He added that subscribers would get incentives ranging from free outgoing calls on landlines to free LED TVs. He also said premium customers would be “able to watch movies in their living rooms the same day these movies are released

he array of offers means that with just one product, Reliance will take on competitors as diverse as telecom companies, streaming platforms and even cinema halls.

India is one of the world’s fastest-growing internet markets – and the appetite for video-on-demand is expected to keep rising. Television, streaming platforms and films will account for some 46% of the growth in the Indian media industry, according to a recent report by the consultancy firm Price Waterhouse.

Reliance Jio, the company’s telecom arm, became India’s biggest operator earlier this year, with revenue exceeding $1.6bn in the quarter ending 30 June.

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