Reliance Jio (RJIO), the Mukesh Ambani group company, is all set to launch its fourth generation (4G) network with its employees referring the services to 10 people for testing. Edelweiss says it availed RJio's employee referral offer for testing. "First impression is positive owing sound network performance. We consistently received network speed of 12-20Mbps outdoors and 3-8Mbps indoors with satisfactory coverage. The experience on voice side, with respect to voice quality and call set-up time, was also satisfactory. RJIO is trying to create a unified digital ecosystem with a suite of applications, though there are credible established alternatives in each of the verticals. We remain cautious on the sector anticipating increase in competitive intensity with launch of RJIO," it said in a research report.
RJIO is expected to disrupt market with significantly lower data prices and combo offers, which will enable customers to access variety of content on a single platform. This also means incumbent operators will have to continue to invest in their network and innovate on pricing to maintain market share.
Edelweiss Securities says it found the data service of RJIO much superior when compared with incumbent players' 4G services with indoor network speed of 3-8Mbps and outdoor speed of 15-20Mbps, which is about 25% higher than current operators. "However," it says, "superior performance can be attributed to RJIO’s relatively empty network and performance may deteriorate post commercial launch. There were few occasions when RJIO reported lower speeds and signal strengths versus incumbents, especially in indoor environs. With respect to building blocks, with pan-India 5MHz paired spectrum in 800MHz band and 20MHz unpaired spectrum in 2300MHz band, RJIO is better placed than incumbents with data spectrum holding in both coverage and capacity spectrum."
Apart from LTE infrastructure, RJIO services come preloaded with various apps, such as Jio Play (live TV), JioOnDemand (VoD), JioMoney (wallet), and JioBeats (music) to ensure that content is also available to the users. "Although there are credible alternatives available in each of the verticals, customers are unlikely to access all vertical specific apps due to the hassle of maintaining separate apps, their credentials and subscriptions. With RJIO offering unified login and subscription management, the process could be simplified and may increase customer stickiness," Edelweiss says.
The report mentions that the employee referral scheme necessitates purchase of LYF branded phones, which it found to be significantly under-spec’d compared to similarly priced phones. "However, 90 days of free data and voice usage offset the lower perceived value of the phone," it added.