Just like Reliance Jio upended the mobile carriers market in India by launching crazy cheap plans with unlimited mobile data, it is now aiming to do the same for the broadband market. Reliance’s new offering dubbed as the “JioGigaFiber” promises to provide fast internet speeds at affordable prices. That said, there is not a ton of information available on the service as it’s still in the testing phase. In this article, we want to change that as we are going to take a closer look at JioGigaFiber to see what it has to offer us. So, if you are interested in JioGigaFiber, here is everything that you need to know about it.
Everything You Need to Know About JioGigaFiber
In this article, we will start with first learning the basics of the JioGigaFiber and then take a look at its timeline, availability, prices, and any other relevant information that is made available to the public.
What is Fiber Internet Connection?
Before we start talking about JioGigaFiber let us first understand what Fiber internet connection is and how it differs from the normal cable and DSL connection that we use today. Our normal cable and DSL connections use copper wires to transmit electrical information. Since these connections were originally developed to transfer only our voice, they have limited capacity. Also, the speed of transfer decreases over distance thanks to attenuation.
Fiber connection solves these problems by using light instead of electrical signals. A fiber connection uses fiber-optic lines which are basically made of plastic or glass and carry binary transmissions of light. Since fiber-optic lines transfer data using modulated light instead of electricity, they offer higher capacity and speed which can go as high as 10Gbps.
Fiber-optic lines can also carry signals farther than copper cables before it suffers attenuation. When using copper cables, the signal strength starts decreasing at about 100 meters. In fiber-optics, the same amount of signal decrease happens over 40 kilometers. As you can see, fiber-optics offer both better capacity and distance and hence are considered as the future of broadband connectivity.
What is JioGigaFiber?
JioGigaFiber is basically a broadband connection service which will use fiber-optic connections to bring high-speed internet to your home and offices. For most users, JioGigaFiber will offer unlimited speeds for all their web-surfing, media streaming, and gaming needs. If implemented correctly, you will be able to download 1 GB file in mere seconds and stream 4K content without any buffering or delay. That is the future that JioGigaFiber is promising us.
What is Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Technology Used in JioGigaFiber?
Most internet providers in India use cable or DSL connection to provide internet to your homes. While most of the cross-continent connections happen over fiber-optics, the endpoint customers like you and me receive internet over copper wires. This cut the costs for internet providers, however, it also results in a limited capacity and slower speed.
Jio’s Fiber to the Home (FTTH) technology is the company’s fancy way of saying that it will provide a fiber-optics connection direct to your home. So, instead of getting a cable connection, you will get direct access to fiber-optics connection resulting in way higher speeds and capacity.
What Are the Benefits of Using JioGigaFiber?
Well, the obvious benefits are high-speed internet with lower ping times and higher download and upload speeds. While theoretically, a fiber-optics connection can go as high as 10 Gbps, in practice, 5 Gbps is the highest speed that you can expect to reach your home. Also, the 5 Gbps version is going to cost you a lot so Jio will probably launch different pricing tiers for different speeds. Even after taking everything into account, you should expect at least 100 Mbps download speeds at base level which all users should be able to afford.
Apart from higher speeds and capacity, another benefit of using JioGigaFiber is the fiber-optic cables themselves. The cables are more durable so they will last you longer and you will also see low to no downtime. Also, any new fiber-optic technology available in the future will not require you to change the cables as the upgrade will be made to the electronic light pulses carrying the information and not the cables themselves. It means that you will be able to upgrade to even higher speeds in the future without upgrading your hardware set-up.
JioGigaFiber is not going to be cheap by any means; at least for the early adopters. First, you will have to pay a refundable fee of Rs. 4,500 for the GigaHub Home Gateway which is the ONT (Optical Network Terminal) device Jio will install at your home. Thankfully, the company is not charging any installation services at this time but expect it to charge added installation fee in the future.
When it comes to data pricing, currently Jio is providing a prepaid plan for 90 days with 100 Mbps speed and 100 GB/month data cap. After you have exhausted your data, the speed will drop down to 1 Mbps. Users will also be able to buy additional data in 40 GB prepaid chunks. I could not find any pricing information for either the top-up or the 90-day plan. Also, note that this is a preview plan and once the service is commercially launched, you will see different tiers and pricing structures so you can pick and choose the plan that suits you the most.
How to Get JioGigaFiber Connection?
Currently, JioGigaFiber is invite only. You will have to go to JioGigaFiber’s website and register with your full name, mobile number, and email ID. Once you have entered the details and confirmed them via OTP, JioGigaFiber will let you know if the service is available in your area or not. If the fiber connection is available in your area, you can request an invite and wait for the response. If not, you will have to wait for the service to launch in your area.
The service is set to be commercially launched in the coming weeks and while we don’t have an exact date, it will be sooner than later.
Are You Excited for JioGigaFiber?
With JioGigaFiber, Reliance is aiming to change the broadband internet market. However, whether it will be able to do so will depend on its execution of the plan and the pricing structure of the service that it offers. It will be hard even for Reliance to slash prices for its fiber-optics connection to a level where it can drive competition out of business. Well, whatever happens, I am excited for the service, are you? Let us know in the comments section below.