Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd. Photo: AFP
Mukesh Ambani, the chairman of India's Reliance Industries. Photo: AFP

After creating a major disruption among India’s mobile-phone service providers in 2016, Reliance Jio Infocomm, owned by the country’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, has unveiled Jio GigaFibre, which is expected to disrupt broadband services.

At Reliance’s 41st annual general meeting in Mumbai, Ambani’s daughter Isha Ambani announced that Jio GigaFibre would be rolled out on August 15. It will be a high-speed optical-fiber-based broadband service that will be available in 1,100 cities in the country. Jio GigaFibre will cater to homes, merchant outlets and small industries.

Jio GigaFibre will be based on fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) technology. At present, fiber cables reach only as far as main premises, while the connections to individual homes and offices are through traditional copper cable. With FTTH technology, the fiber cable will go to right up to individual buildings.

Reliance is expected to offer lots of freebies with Jio GigaFibre, as it did earlier with mobile-phone services. This will pressure rivals such as Airtel to slash rates.

The company also announced the launch of a low-priced feature phone, the Jio Phone 2, which will be an upgrade of its earlier version. It will be priced at 2,999 rupees (about US$44) and have provision for popular social-media applications such as Facebook and WhatsApp.