Last updated on 8th Aug. 2017
From http://gadgets.ndtv.com/internet/news/jio-broadband-jiofiber-launch-reliance-mukesh-ambani-1727630, dated 21st July 2017
According to the listing, and brochures its representatives have distributed in select home complexes, the company intends to offer 100Mbps connection with a 100GB data cap (with 1Mbps from there onwards) for free to customers for a period of three months.
From Jio Fiber Plans, Location Accidentally Revealed; Free 100GB Data P.M At 100 Mbps For 3 Months!, http://trak.in/tags/business/2017/07/12/jio-fiber-plans-locations-price/ dated 17th July 2017
As per the contents of the hidden website accessed by us, Jio is going to offer 100 GB of data, at a speed of 100 Mbps, and the services shall be free for 3 months. Once 100 GB is consumed within a month, then the speed will drop to 1 Mbps.
Earlier, it was rumoured that Jio Fiber will offer 100 GB of data at Rs 500 per month, and the services would be launched from Diwali onwards.
Ravi: The article also talks about a security deposit of Rs. 4500.
The lucky cities where the leak says it will be rolled out first are Ahmedabad, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Mumbai, Surat, Vadodara, and Vishakhapatnam.
I later came to know (details given later on in this post) that BSNL is offering in Hyderabad, a fibre optic based service of 50 Mbps up to 150 GB for Rs. 1045 + tax per month, and a copper wire based service of 24 Mbps up to 100 GB for Rs. 1045 + tax per month. In Puttaparthi, the best speed plans of BSNL are 8 Mbps on Copper wire and I was using one of them till last month – 8 Mbps up to 25 GB for Rs. 999 + taxes per month (an alternate of 8 Mbps up to 60 GB was also available for around the same price, which I had not noted). Puttaparthi does not have fibre wire Internet (from BSNL at least).
Given this data, the Reliance JioFiber option for big cities in India (like Hyderabad) is a more attractive choice but cannot be viewed as very disruptive. It will become disruptive in India ONLY IF Reliance JioFiber penetrates smaller cities and towns (like Puttaparthi) in India, where BSNL currently provides only 8 Mbps max speed connections and there seem to be practically no other competitors to BSNL today for even 8 Mbps fixed line broadband. I mean, Reliance Jio Mobile 4G LTE Internet being offered in Puttaparthi became a game-changer (very disruptive force) in Puttaparthi Internet broadband services field. This was for both mobile and landline broadband, as many but not all landline broadband connections – mainly BSNL but I guess that it would have been similar for a small private operator who was the only fixed line Internet alternative to BSNL in Puttaparthi – were closed due to people switching to Jio 4G Mobile Internet. If Reliance JioFiber is offered in Puttaparthi then it surely will be another and more powerful than Jio 4G LTE, disruptive (game-changer) force for BSNL, the main fixed line Internet broadband provider in Puttaparthi.
I felt it appropriate to do some reading up on very high speed (100 Mbps to 1000Mbps/1Gbps) fixed line (landline) Internet services in India. I have been living in Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh, for nearly 15 years now, where the only big company fixed line Internet service is from the govt. owned BSNL which, as far as I know, does not have fibre optic cables laid in Puttaparthi. My around decade old BSNL fixed line service is currently provided through a copper wire connection which is an overhead line (as, I guess, underground cables are hard to lay in Puttaparthi town). The BSNL fixed line broadband options that I can avail of are, as far as I know, what’s shown in this webpage: http://www.ap.bsnl.co.in/flashapnews/Un%20Limited%20BB.html. Note that the highest speed for any plan in this webpage is 8 Mbps. The more optimal for broadband usage alone is the “BBG Combo ULD 995 CS186” plan giving “8 Mbps upto 60 GB, 2 Mbps beyond” for Rs. 995 (+ tax) per month and is available in many telecom areas including Anantapur (which services Puttaparthi) but not all telecom areas in Andhra Pradesh. Note that SSAs are Secondary Switching Areas which I am translating as a telecom areas in this post.
While I was aware that cities in India do have much higher speed fixed line broadband options from BSNL itself, besides Fibre based Internet from private companies, I did not spend much time on getting to know those options. I had the impression that those options were much more expensive than the around Rs. 1000 + taxes per month plans that provided 8Mbps speed in most telecom areas of BSNL Andhra Pradesh including Puttaparthi.
On looking up the Internet, here’s what Hyderabad (and a few other cities/telecom areas) has on offer now from BSNL itself: http://www.ap.bsnl.co.in/flashapnews/HTD%20specific%20plans.html. Note that these plans are NOT available for Anantapur SSA (which is what services Puttaparthi) and so not available for me. The best speed non-Fibre (Copper wire, I guess) plan is “BBG Super speed Combo ULD 1045 VDSL CS 149” giving “24 Mbps upto 100 GB beyond 4 Mbps” for Rs. 1045 (+ tax) per month, available ONLY TO HTD SSA [HTD seems to stand for Hyderabad Telecom District].
There are two best speed 50 Mbps fibre plans. The less expensive one of them is “Fibro Combo ULD 1045 CS35” giving “50Mbps upto 150GB, 4 Mbps beyond” for Rs. 1045 (+ tax) per month, available to Hyderabad and Medak telecom areas ONLY. The webpage does not list any fibre plans available for any other telecom areas in Andhra Pradesh and Telengana. So that means only Hyderabad and Medak areas seem to be serviced by Fibre optic Internet by BSNL Andhra Pradesh and Telengana.
I find the 24 Mbps till 100 GB copper wire plan and 50 Mbps till 150 GB fibre wire plan of BSNL both of which are priced at Rs. 1045 (+ tax) to be very attractive. However, I repeat, they are available ONLY in Hyderabad and Medak and not in Anantapur telecom area!
This page, Broadband Internet service on FTTH, http://www.bsnl.in/opencms/bsnl/BSNL/services/broadband/bb_ftth.html, seems to give the general BSNL Fiber broadband (FFTH) service plans. It does not mention the areas where these services are available. For the 100 Mbps plan it lists, “FiBro ULD 16999” giving “upto 100 Mbps till 800GB, Upto 4 Mbps beyond”, the price is an astronomical Rs. 16999 (+ tax) per month! [I think I must have seen such very expensive high speed (50 Mbps +) plans of BSNL in my earlier browsing (say a year or two ago) and so ignored them as they are not only well beyond the affordable range of most Indian middle-class homes, but are hard to justify for most of those relatively fewer Indian middle-class homes that can afford it.]
Here’s a recent news article, BSNL to offer ultra-fast 1,000 Mbps broadband connection, http://www.livemint.com/Industry/w3LceGfpoPP2z3DNoFspdJ/BSNL-to-offer-ultrafast-1000-Mbps-broadband-connection.html, 14th July 2017
Some small extracts from the article are given below:
” Telecom minister Manoj Sinha on Friday launched a next generation optical fibre-based technology on the BSNL network that will enable the state-run firm to provide broadband connection with download speed of up to 1,000 Mbps.
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) at present offers broadband facility with top download speed of 100 Mbps on its fibre-to-the-home network.”
“BSNL chief general manager (CGM) Anil Kumar Jain said the company is offering top speed of 24 megabit per second for fixed line broadband connection and 100 mbps speed on FTTH network.
“With this upgradation, we will be able to provide connection with speed of up to 1 gigabit per second on FTTH networks in all state capitals and other top cities,” Jain said.”
Ravi: So this recent news article confirms that as of middle of last month, BSNL copper wire top (Download) speed is 24 Mbps and Fibre wire (to home) top DL speed is 100 Mbps. BSNL plans to upgrade its fibre (to home) top DL speed connections to 1000 Mbps/1 Gbps. But that will be available only in big cities in India. Puttaparthi is not a big city and so one wonders if and when BSNL will provide fibre Internet (to home) connections in Puttaparthi.
The fastest wired broadband internet service providers in India, http://www.firstpost.com/tech/news-analysis/the-fastest-wired-broadband-internet-service-providers-in-india-3698701.html, 3rd March 2017.
The above article covers a lot of private and govt. telecom companies’ very high speed broadband offerings.
It reports that Airtel slashed its prices (around March 2017). In Mumbai, Airtel was offering Fibre broadband of 100 Mbps up to 500 GB data for Rs. 3,999 per month, and a cheaper plan of 100 Mbps up to 200 GB for Rs. 2,099 per month.
MTNL (a govt. owned company) in Mumbai, is offering 50 Mbps up to 375 GB at Rs. 4,999 per month, and 100 Mbps up to 900 GB at Rs. 7,999 per month.
Hayai (never heard that name before) is offering in Mumbai, a 10 Gbps (yes, 10 Giga bits per second) plan up to “all you can eat” i.e. no limit whatsoever, for Rs. 19,999 per month. The cheapest plan listed is 1 Gbps up to 750 GB for Rs. 7,349 per month.
You Broadband (don’t think I heard this name earlier) offers 100 Mbps up to 250 GB for Rs. 1,572 per month in many cities in India including Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bengaluru. [Ravi: Hmm. This seems to be quite attractive.]
Act Fibrenet is offering in Hyderabad, 1 Gbps up to 1000 GB (1 TB) for Rs. 5,999 per month.
Nextra Fibrebold is offering in some (housing) societies in Delhi, 100 Mbps up to 50 GB for Rs. 2,999 per month.
Tata Docomo is mentioned as offering 100 Mbps plans in cities in many states of India. In Mumbai, its 100 Mbps plan up to 200 GB is priced at Rs. 3,299 per month.
The article also mentions BSNL Fibro ULD servicing 97 cities in India costing a steep Rs. 16,999 per month for 100 Mbps up to 600 GB. [I have mentioned this or a similar plan earlier in this post update.]
A Pune based Indian correspondent wrote in response to above (over email and was OK with sharing publicly):
You mention the maximum promised speeds of various networks. One question is, what is the average speed as that is the figure that is important. Potentially, a network may be capable of delivering 100Mbps speeds but in practice the speeds may be slower. That is my experience with Airtel 4G, Vodafone 3G dongle and BSNL.
The BSNL high speed service is also patchy in some cities. We live in Koregaon Park, which is fairly central, and the maximum speed offered is 8Mbps (and the actual speed close to 1-2Mbps). BSNL people say the maximum speed depends on the local exchange (our exchange is fairly new). Perhaps around government offices the speed is higher.
The other networks in this area are Hathway which reputedly gives up to 50Mbps on a line and You (which you have already mentioned). Any service relying on a line (fibre or copper) will depend on whether the provider has permission to lay lines, as well as space for a base/distributor station. I have contacted Hathway several times and while they have reached Koregaon Park they say it will take time before they can offer the service in our lane. By the way, Hathway has a good reputation in other parts of the city.
My Airtel service is down for about two days a month. It was down on Sunday and Monday and I contacted their help line to be told that they have identified the problem and the solution and are working out how to implement it smoothly. No time line offered: customers must wait and see. The service seems to be working today (Tuesday) with maximum download speed at 7:00am of around 6-9Mbps. Perhaps the customer help line people don’t really know what is going on and just give stock answers!
Airtel used to charge me Rs.2000 (plus taxes) for 25GB per month and have now revised it to 30GB for the same price. I don’t have much choice but to stay with them until I hear what Jio is like in this area.
I will be interested to know how well Jio performs in Puttaparthi: both the average speed and the reliability. No hurry — you can tell me after your have used it for a few months!
I (Ravi) responded (slightly edited):
Thanks –name-snipped– for your response. It brings in real-life Internet broadband issues faced by you in Pune which is vital info. in the context of advertised claims of Indian broadband service providers, especially with respect to speed.
The fact that even though you live in a central part of Pune, a major city in India which is serviced by some fibre broadband private companies, as of now you still do not have the Fibre broadband option in your lane, is a reality that perhaps would be shared by many in major cities in India. I hope that changes quickly for you. Hathway, the service you mentioned, has this very attractive “HD ELITE” fibre plan for Pune with 50 Mbps up to 50 GB per month for Rs. 2549 for 3 months (less than Rs. 1000/- per month), http://www.hathway.com/Broadband/HomeBroadband. I would not be surprised if this fibre fixed line plan would give you a consistent speed band between, say, 30 to 40 Mbps. You had mentioned that one reading you got from your Airtel mobile broadband was 27 Mbps but that the service itself goes down at times [see https://ravisiyer.wordpress.com/2017/06/06/mobile-4g-speeds-plans-and-donglehotspot-devices-in-india-3g-speeds-bsnl-landline-broadband-plan-speed/] . Your Airtel monthly charges of Rs. 2000 for 30 GB compares poorly with the above Hathway plan.
I should also mention that the govt. of India TRAI speed information site, http://www.myspeed.trai.gov.in/, gives a DL speed figure of 8.11 Mbps for Airtel in Pune. Perhaps if you test your Airtel connection on working day evenings between 6 PM to 8 PM when the load seems to be typically high, you will get a different speed from the 27 Mbps you got earlier.
Noted that BSNL broadband gives only 1 to 2 Mbps average speed in your area (even for its ‘up to’ 8 Mbps speed plan) with the BSNL people saying that the speed depends on the local exchange. That is UNACCEPTABLE SERVICE from BSNL for any central part of a major city like Pune. I tried looking up BSNL Maharashtra/Pune for the plans. I landed up here: http://www.bsnl.in/opencms/bsnl/BSNL/services/broadband/BB_plans_high_speed.html. The around 1000 Rs. plans are 4 Mbps plans. Perhaps the 1-2 Mpbs actual speed you mentioned may have been for one of the 4 Mbps plan. The minimum price for an 8 Mbps plan in BSNL Maharashtra (servicing Pune) seems to be 1441 (+ tax) (‘up to’ 8 Mbps till 40 GB).
Moving on to other parts of your mail, I think the point you raised about average speed vs. maximum promised speed is very important in the Indian context. There are a couple nuances here, as I see it based on my experience in Puttaparthi.
The first nuance is that fixed line (landline) broadband service providers advertise specific ‘up to’ (peak download) speeds like the ‘up to’ 8 Mbps speed that I had been using with my BSNL landline service from a few years back till last month priced at Rs. 999 + tax (though it dropped by Rs. 200 one or two months ago). They have different plans with different prices based partly on speed (and partly on FUP Data usage limit). Towards the end of last month, after I decided to make Jio mobile Internet my primary broadband service provider, I switched to a cheaper BSNL broadband plan (Rs. 470 + tax) with the claimed ‘up to’ speed of 2 Mbps (till FUP data usage limit of 10 GB). Note that the copper wire/data pipe is the same and has the capacity for higher speeds but that’s the way BSNL (and most, if not all, other fixed line broadband providers in India) segments its customers, for business purposes.
My experience with peak speed for the ‘up to’ 8 Mbps BSNL broadband plan I had was around 6.5 Mbps as the peak speed measured by Ookla, fast.com and/or att speedtest.
In contrast, from whatever I have seen of 4G LTE Mobile Internet broadband service provider plans in India – I have seen mainly Reliance Jio and Airtel plans but also had a quick look at Idea plans, if I recall correctly – they do NOT advertise/claim an ‘up to’ speed in their various plan offerings. Neither are their plans differentiated on ‘up to’ speed like landline broadband service providers. Now there is the max. technology supported speed – I think the official 4G technology standard sets 100 Mbps as the peak speed for high-mobility communication (trains & cars) and 1 Gbps for low-mobility communication (stationary and pedestrians). But that’s just a standard and neither Jio nor Airtel claim to provide peak speed of 100 Mbps on any of their plans, as of now. Note that they use the term 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) which seems to be a way of saying that they are shooting for 4G standard but they are not there yet – but I am not sure of that. What I am quite sure about is that a 4G label for a mobile Internet service does not mean a claim of delivery of ‘peak’ 100 Mbps speed for high-mobility (e.g. trains and cars) and 1 Gbps for low-mobility (e.g. pedestrians and stationary) service in India (and USA and elsewhere too, I guess). In contrast, the fixed line ‘up to’/peak speeds mentioned in their plans are claims of the service providers.
This lack of clarity about mobile Internet broadband service actual/delivered speed (or speed range) makes it rather problematic for an Indian customer considering to buy these 4G LTE plans. It becomes a buy and try affair which is one of the reasons why I spent a lot of time blogging on my ‘buy and try’ experience with Reliance Jio as that might help others to make informed decisions.
My experience with peak (download) speed, as measured by fast.com, Ookla and/or att speedtest, of Reliance Jio at my home flat in Puttaparthi is around 16 Mbps typically at late night/early morning like between 1 AM and 3 AM. Note that I am excluding rare spikes with a max of 21.70 Mbps – have attached a pic of that below. I am excluding them as it was really rare – once or twice. In contrast, I did get around 16 Mbps speed around five to ten times, I think.
One must not forget that Mobile Internet speed including that of 4G LTE of Jio is dependent on signal strength (mine shows as excellent rarely and good typically but sometimes drops to fair in the property sheet which shows up on click on Windows 7 taskbar icon for the mobile Internet connection and mouse hover over Connection status). Perhaps if one measures Jio speed in Puttaparthi where the signal strength is the best – all five bars of the measure-graph are white – it would be higher. Another Puttaparthi resident using Jio Net around the time I did, using the same/similar model of the USB unlocked dongle that I am using – got a peak speed of 32.72 Mbps. I have given a pic of that below. I just noted that this pic shows ALL 5 BARS of the Mobile Internet connection icon as white indicating best signal strength (of Jio mobile Internet, I presume), whereas my measure-pic of 21.70 Mbps shows 4 out of the 5 BARS as white indicating one notch lesser than best signal strength! So the location from where he did the test seems to have the best signal strength whereas mine has reasonable signal strength. So he, I think, will get better Internet speeds with Jio than I.
The second nuance is the consistency band, so to speak, of broadband speed. My experience with BSNL fixed line broadband has been that it has a very good consistency band. With my ‘up to’ 8 Mbps plan, I used to consistently get between 5.5 Mbps and 6.5 Mbps speed. This was very satisfying. This CONSISTENTLY good speed range/band made youtube viewing usually a seamless and happy experience without having to wait for buffering in most cases. Even live streaming from youtube channels like New York Times or PBS (USA) was typically without any buffering! The video being played on full screen on my 21.5 inch TFT/LCD monitor allowed me to very comfortably and in quite detail, follow USA political events from the comfort of my home (small apartment flat) in a rural/semi-urban town in an economically backward district, Anantapur, of India! I mean, I have followed the USA 2016 presidential campaign including the Republican and Democratic national conventions and the election day results, important USA Congress events etc. EITHER live sitting in Puttaparthi OR if I was busy to watch it live, I would watch it the next day. I am talking of watching 1 to 2 to 3 hour videos sometimes at a stretch, sometimes with a break.
And then I have watched so many documentaries, spiritual discourses, movies, pop and spiritual song-videos etc. on youtube which have GREATLY ENHANCED my learning and understanding of life and, many times, given me lots of pleasure too. All of this was made possible by my ‘up to’ 8 Mbps BSNL landline broadband plan giving 5.5 to 6.5 Mbps speed CONSISTENTLY. Note that I was able to do this sort of video watching on a regular basis from around mid-2012 after I parted ways with the ashram university that I was associated with in Puttaparthi, and decided to lead a home-based individual life. In these five years or so, it is BSNL Landline broadband that has made all this Internet experience enriching my life possible. I am deeply grateful to BSNL and to Indian and Andhra Pradesh govt. which own & operate BSNL at a top-level, for the same and am therefore very reluctant to disconnect my BSNL broadband line even though its charges are too expensive now with Jio 4G Mobile disrupting the economics of Puttaparthi broadband service. I mean, a few months down the line, BSNL could make their broadband plans competitive with JioFiber by raising their ‘up to’ speeds to say 16 Mbps (on Copper wire), FUP data limit to 100 GB and drop the price to Rs. 500 per month. Then I would consider switching to that BSNL plan, making it my primary Internet service provider, and use Jio Mobile Internet as a backup service. I think around Rs. 500 per month (+ tax) is a fair price that I am willing pay for CONSISTENTLY FAST Internet with a reasonable data usage limit like 50 to 100 GB.
I have been over a week now with my currently backup/secondary Internet service provider BSNL landline broadband plan of ‘up to’ 2 Mbps till 10 GB data (and 1 Mbps after 10 GB) for Rs. 470 + tax per month. This too is proving to be in a strong speed consistency band. To my surprise, the band is between 1.5 and 2.5 Mbps (before 10 GB data limit is crossed) as reported by fast.com, Ookla and/or att speedtest. I had expected to get 1 – 2 Mbps speed range.
In contrast, the Jio 4G Mobile speed varies dramatically during the day (and night). The equivalent ‘consistency band’ is from 2 to 16 Mbps with lower range speeds being common during evenings and higher range speeds being seen during late nights and early mornings. From a reliable and consistent high speed Internet point of view, in Puttaparthi based on my experience, BSNL landline broadband is far superior to Jio 4G Mobile Internet.
Now one might derive an average speed from the band of 2 to 16 Mbps speeds that I get from my Jio Net connection. Mathematically it would be accurate to call it an average speed. But when viewed from how it will be interpreted by users, I think there is a grave possibility of users being misled by an average speed mention of say, 5.5 Mbps of Jio, WITHOUT MENTIONING the wide variance of speed during the day and night.
Before I conclude, I should also mention that I have focused on Download speeds and ignored Upload speeds. But I could easily note that the Upload speed of Jio Mobile 4G Internet is far superior to the poor upload speed of even the ‘up to’ 8 Mbps download speed BSNL landline broadband plan that I used for so many years. So for those who have regular uploads of big files e.g. videos, Jio (and perhaps other) mobile Internet broadband providers may be a significantly better choice.
I noted your interest in knowing my experience with Jio over the coming months in terms of reliability and average speed. Will bear it in mind. Though I think I may not be spending much time on such measures in an organized way with records to back up my statements. It will be more of a quick speed check now and then WITHOUT a record/log (as that eats up time).
To conclude, I would like to say that in Puttaparthi, fixed line broadband, as one would expect, offers superior reliability and consistency but is priced too high. Mobile Internet broadband (besides Jio, Airtel is said to be an important player in Puttaparthi now in this space), in Puttaparthi, offers speeds that are good enough for youtube viewing without much need for buffering, and while the speeds vary a lot during the day and night, the speeds do touch 16 Mbps which is more than two times the highest speed of around 6.5 Mbps that I got for the best speed ‘up to’ 8 Mbps fixed line broadband plan in Puttaparthi.
P.S. Here’s an interesting USA based article, How Fast Are 4G and 3G Internet Speeds?, https://www.lifewire.com/how-fast-are-4g-and-3g-internet-speeds-3974470, 13th June 2017.
It quotes a study giving top 4G LTE speeds for major vendors in USA.
1) AT&T: Avg. DL speed of 18.6 Mbps, max speed – 19.6 Mbps
2) Verizon: Avg. DL speed of 14.3 Mbps, max speed – 49.3 Mbps
3) Sprint: Avg. DL speed of 10.3 Mbps, max speed – 32.7 Mbps
To compare with India, here’s the TRAI speed tracker site, http://www.myspeed.trai.gov.in/, listing the following Average DOWNLOAD speeds for all over India, today (8th Aug. 2017), for 4G operators:
1) Jio – 18.8 Mbps
2) Vodafone – 12.4 Mbps
3) Idea – 11.0 Mbps
4) Airtel – 9.0 Mbps
The Pune based Indian correspondent responded (slightly edited):
Thanks for your very informative message. Yes, Airtel is not the ideal service provider but at my location I do not have any other choice except BSNL. To me, Jio is an unknown and I will wait to see what experience other people get in this area.
By the way, the Airtel service has now been down for three days (from Sunday morning)!
I (Ravi) wrote (slightly edited):
Sad to know that your Airtel (mobile Internet broadband) service is down for three days since Sunday! That sort-of downtime is too long. Your alternate mobile service provider (Vodafone, if I recall correctly) would have come to your rescue. Hmm. Lets hope Hathway or You broadband reaches your lane in Koregaon Park quickly and provides much more regular service than Airtel.
So far I have not faced ANY downtime from Jio in Puttaparthi – maybe it was down at some times when I was not using the service and so did not note it. BSNL broadband over the past few years has become more reliable and goes down once in, say six months, but is usually back up within a day or so. However, I can’t recall BSNL broadband being down this year so far! Even in the rains the landline has worked decently and provided decent broadband service!
I do earnestly wish that you quickly get a more reliable and regular broadband service that is cost-competitive.
[I thank ndtv.com, trak.in, livemint.com and firstpost.com, and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above small extracts from and references to their website on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]