Nearly a month since the largest telecom network across the country launched its sim called Reliance Jio and provided its services and now it’s high time to analyse what the user experience has been like.
Apparently the reason behind the delay in the activation of the Jio sims was the Know Your Customer (KYC) process from the company’s side which was taking much longer than usual. One dealer told the media that this was a classic demand-supply problem. The number of tokens the dealers could activate was measly when compared to the tokens dished out at that dealership. After receiving a SIM card, you need to complete a verification process via SMS. Some users also attributed the delays to the strict verification standards adopted by Reliance. Several personal documents submitted by customers were rejected by the company for not being recent enough. Now lets have a look at the services of Jio.
Voice Or VoLTE:
It’s no secret that Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio has been at war with the COAI, which essentially means incumbent operators like Vodafone and Airtel, over points-of-interconnect (PoI). The allegations against the incumbents are that they are not allowing internet telephony calls to their networks by denying the requisite interconnection. That’s why calls from the Jio network to other carriers and vice versa have not been going through. Be it in Mumbai or Pune or Bangalore – nine out of ten calls made or received on a Jio sim (at earthly hours) did not go through.
When it comes to the Jio service, a lot has been said about rampant call drops and failed connections, but here’s the good news – Jio 4G certainly lives up to its promise of offering lightning fast speeds, especially outdoors. Even on the highways between Mumbai and Pune, and Bangalore and Mysore, Jio provides impressive data speeds ranging from 2 MBps to 35 MBps, which is more than enough to get the job done on the go. If you’re using the Jio service, you can definitely enjoy your favourite songs, shows and movies whilst traveling. Also, you could use both the LYF smarthphone and the JioFy device as a WiFi hotspot and ensure all your fellow travelers enjoy the same connectivity. Although high speeds were recorded in a number of tests, in some spots, primarily indoors, some dismal results could be seen.
JioFI: It has a 2,300 milliamp hour battery that the company claims will last just 6 hours, when charged to the fullest. However, it can get you through most of the day on a single charge with average usage.
LYF: While the pocket router’s battery life was a standout, the LYF smartphone’s 2,000 mAh battery is nothing to write home about. It cannot cope with the drain caused by 4G data usage, and so it needs to be charged more than a couple of times every day if you are using this as your only phone.
Also, as of now, most calls don’t connect on the Jio network, so you could only imagine the impact added usage would have on this phone’s battery life, if and when Reliance Jio sorts out its connectivity issues!
Return on investment?
With the speeds and functionality that it offers, the JioFi router seems to be a steal at Rs 2,000. It is cheaper than installing a WiFi router at your home and is also incredibly compact and useful on the go. Add to that Jio’s preview offer of free services till the end of the year and you’ve effectively recovered the cost of the router in that time period. Once the preview offer ends, you can choose from several plans based on validity and your data usage. This video from the day of the Jio launch showcases some of the plans on offer, although rival operators have since launched innovative schemes to combat Jio.
The LYF smartphone is a whole different story. Prices as low as Rs 3,000 might sound attractive to some, but the phone performs dismally on several counts – battery, display, multitasking. Others might justifiably argue that at such a low price point, Reliance has packed in a lot of features. But, if you’re willing to shell out some more money, do remember there’s no dearth of affordable and functional 4G enabled smartphones in the market!
The Icing On The Cake
Now, along with all the freebies that Reliance is offering, it’s also promising zero roaming charges throughout India, which sounds great on paper but this can only be experienced once the company resolves all existing interconnect issues with rival operators
But, content really seems to be king for Jio considering what’s on offer in the form of Jio Music, Jio TV and Jio Cinema. If you’re an entertainment junkie, then this might just seal the deal for you. On my regular phone, Apple Music is my preferred music streaming service. But, whilst testing the Jio services, I was pleasantly surprised by the extensive library of high quality music and movies.
Well, the verdict is pretty simple. If you’re looking for great 4G speeds at competitive prices, then Reliance Jio offers you just that. But, if you’re planning to switch from your existing operator and like most normal people, you want to make voice calls from your smartphone, then you’re better off waiting and watching how the battle between Jio and the incumbent operators pans out.
So, for now, that makes the JioFI router a must have in every pocket for lightning fast internet speeds. But, if you’re sitting on the fence about ditching your existing cellular operator, then it’s safe to say, it won’t hurt if you remain seated a little longer.