Jio launched operations on September 5 2016, and things have changed drastically in the telecom sector in the subsequent year. While free calls and considerably cheaper data became the norm since Reliance Jio entered the market, what gave Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani the "biggest satisfaction" was that the company broke the myth that India is not ready to adopt advanced technology. In an email to its staff on the one-year anniversary of Jio launching public operations, Ambani said "the way the country has embraced 4G technology and the way it is being used is already a case study for quantum technology leaps."
Ambani also said in the email "Together, we have created the largest end-to-end all-IP 4G network in the world! This is also reflected in the the gigantic spurt in data consumption and customer numbers on our network." Jio claims India's data consumption went from 20 crore GB to 120 crore GB in six months of its launch, and that it handles 250 crore minutes of voice calls daily.
The company presently has 130 million users on its network. In February, Ambani said Jio acquired more than 100 million subscribers in barely 170 days, adding that this was the fastest growth for any technology company, ahead of the likes of Facebook and WhatsApp.
Congratulating the employees, Ambani's email reads, "In this past one year, we have broken several records, both in India and globally ... For now, let me take this opportunity to congratulate and personally thank each of you for your commitment to our mission to take India to digital leadership. And I am counting on you to create more records in achieving our collective dream of making India truly digital.
Since Jio launched its 4G VoLTE-only network, the country has seen 4G phones becoming commonplace, while 3G networks are on the way out. Access to broadband speeds (512kbps or above) has improved greatly, and more online content is being consumed than before. Incumbent telecom operators have seen several changes too, with Vodafone and Idea agreeing to a merger and most telecom operators launching plans with low-cost data and bundled calls to retain consumers.
But Jio is not done yet - its JioFiber broadband service is under testing, and 4G feature phone - named Jio Phone - will start shipping on September 21. In fact, Jio Phone is expected to bring about massive changes to the entry-level mobile phone segment as millions more are likely to join the Jio network for the free calls and ultra-low cost data.