Will Reliance Jio Replicate Punjab Broadband Model In Other States?

Will-Reliance-Jio-Replicate-Punjab-Village-Broadband-Model-In-Other-States-For-BharatNet?Punjab will be the first state in the country where Reliance Jio will provide broadband connectivity to cover 100 percent of the population (both rural and urban).

The company has already invested Rs 3,900 crores till date for providing broadband connectivity to Punjab and Jio is planning to commit additional resources, making Punjab the first state in India where all villages will have broadband mobile connectivity.

Speaking at Progressive Punjab Investors Summit 2015, Mukesh Ambani, CMD, Reliance Jio said, “We will commit additional resources that it takes so that Punjab will be the first state in India where every single village will be covered with broadband mobile connectivity which then opens up the doors for all sections of society.”

The big question is will Reliance Jio replicate Punjab Broadband Model in other states for “BharatNet” Project i.e. providing broadband connectivity to all villages?

First, with Reliance Jio fiber already in large towns and cities, it makes good business proposition for the company to extend fiber to gram panchayats and finally villages. With this Jio is planning to get more subscribers under its fold who will utilize broadband services for voice, E-commerce, social media and other applications thereby increasing its revenue from villages which contribute 70 percent of India’s population.

Villages becoming broadband enabled opens up new opportunities. Small and medium industry can improve their productivity, farmers can learn about crop patterns and implement them for increasing crop productivity, traders can do e-commerce and youth can focus on startup businesses using digital infrastructure to create value for themselves.

Second, with Punjab coming under its fold for providing 100 percent village connectivity. Jio will now showcase Punjab Model to other states who can take a call on whether to opt for Punjab Model or AP Fiber Grid Model (where fiber is taken to villages using electrical poles). In Punjab Model, an additional expense by states will help them to provide broadband connectivity to all villages as Jio fiber has already reached majority of small cities and towns in the state. On the other hand, in the case of AP Fiber Grid Model, the states will have to deploy a completely new network and use electricity poles for taking fiber to the villages.

In future, Reliance Jio will also have to face competition from Facebook (Solar Powered Plane Project and Satellite Project), Google (Project Loon) and Microsoft (White Space Project) as and when these projects become commercially available in India.

Based on the technology, the states will weigh on the least cost model for the project and opt for the one which requires minimum investment. In this case, states can also get funding from NOFN project and they also have to make additional investment from state corpus for broadbanding villages.

States which are progressive will be the first to adopt BharatNet Project and in this case both Andhra Pradesh and Punjab has taken lead. Tamil Nadu is the next to follow whereas other states are still discussing about BharatNet modalities in terms of deployment.

Third, with Reliance Jio jumping into village broadband it would be interesting to know what is the plan of Airtel, Idea and Vodafone with respect to providing broadband to villages and by when. Presently, Airtel, Aircel, Tikona, Idea and Vodafone has no option but to tie up with few progressive states (A and B category circles) for providing village broadband connectivity. So, it would be interesting to see how operators, vendors, application providers and system integrators compete for BharatNet.

Once village broadband for Punjab and Andhra Pradesh gets successfully implemented there would be pressure on other state governments to implement it under fast track mode.

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One Comment

  1. barinder sarangal says:

    hi when this broadband will be available to the users. I have fed up with arrogance of BSNL people.

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