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Jio eyes broadband market with affordable high-speed packages

Last-mile connectivity in India's fibre networks is reportedly grossly below capacity in comparison with markets such as the US and China.

twitter-logo BusinessToday.In   New Delhi     Last Updated: January 2, 2019  | 12:25 IST
Jio eyes broadband market with affordable high-speed packages

According to Reliance Jio Infocomm, less than 2% of Indian businesses - covering the gamut from large companies to micro enterprises - enjoy wireless connectivity at present. And the Mukesh Ambani telco reportedly has plans to introduce affordable ultra-broadband packages to enterprises to change this status quo and help them leverage the transformative power of the internet.

"The next big transformation for businesses will be access to affordable ultra-broadband," Jio president Mathew Oommen told The Economic Times. He added that India has 5,000 large enterprises, 1.4 million small and medium businesses and 51 million registered micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), of which merely 1 million have wireline connectivity. In fact, last-mile connectivity in India's fibre networks is reportedly grossly below capacity in comparison with markets such as the US and China.

"Businesses of every size have been deprived of connectivity. Clearly, broadband has an important role to play here too. MSMEs control 38% of (India's) GDP. Access to broadband will allow them to transform and help in not just re-skilling, but will upskill as they participate fully in the digital economy," explained Oommen.

The daily added that the over Rs 50,000-crore strong enterprise market pie is currently dominated by Bharti Airtel - boasting more than 1.7 million enterprise customers that contribute 22% of its revenue - and state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). With industry insiders predicting that that market size will mushroom to $3-5 billion by 2020, Jio's play in this space makes perfect sense.

(Edited by Sushmita Choudhury Agarwal)

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