Last month, Vodafone did something no one ever thought was possible: It started offering free subscriptions to both Netflix and Amazon Prime with its ‘RED’ plans, in a bid to counter Reliance Jio, who offers cheap data plans with premium applications such as Jio Cinema and Jio TV, which offer a variety of online streaming content.
But Reliance Jio is in no mood to give up the mantle, as the company is reportedly setting up its own production house which will create and produce exclusive video content. The project will compete with the likes of Netflix, terrarium TV alternatives, and Amazon Prime Video. Considering the growing popularity of shows produced on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video (Sacred games, a Netflix produced Indian series recently garnered a lot of attention and praise), this could be the next big thing.
According to reports, the project, called ‘GigaFiber broadband network’ aims to reach over 5 crore users across 1,100 cities in 2 years, with gigabytes per second speeds. GigaFiber will be available through set-top-boxes named GigaTV box, offering both streaming services and ultra HD television on a large screen TV. Users will have to pay a security deposit of ₹4,500 to install a Wi-Fi router and set-top box, following which they will have to pay a monthly subscription fee. While the monthly subscription amount has not been disclosed yet, it is likely that the amount will be inexpensive, since Jio is known for its affordability. Also, since Jio will be competing with streaming services such as Netflix, Hotstar and Amazon Prime, who charge ₹500 per month, ₹199 per month and ₹999 per year respectively as subscription fees, it is highly likely that Jio will introduce a subscription price which is lower than all other players in the market.
It has also been reported that Reliance Jio and Netfilx will be coming together for a partnership which will enable Netflix to deliver its content to GigaTV users via the GigaFiber network. This works perfectly for Netflix, since viewers can watch HD videos on large screens powered by Reliance Jio’s super-fast data speeds, much like Netflix’s model abroad.
Jio GigaFiber will be available 15 August, 2018 onwards.