Major announcements on the Jio GigaFiber launch may be expected soon. Reliance, which was reportedly in talks with Hathway Cable and Datacom and Den Networks to own a 25 percent stake each company, has now confirmed the news.
The company has acquired 66 percent stake in Den and 51.3 percent in Hathway. The acquisition of stakes in both these companies will help Reliance Jio ramp up the coverage for its own high speed home broadband network, Jio GigaFiber, across India, says a report on News 18.
The deal that is expected to help Jio GigaFiber launch by gaining last mile access has been confirmed as expected. Board meetings were held today in all the three companies and sources had told CNBC-TV18 Reliance may buy stakes via fresh equity issuance, which is likely to trigger an open offer for both companies, according to a report on Money Control.
The New Delhi based Den Networks Limited, which is owned by Sameer Manchanda, is the largest cable TV distribution company in India and especially in northern states like Uttar Pradesh. The company also serves thirteen million homes in more than 200 cities across thirteen states, as per reports.
Hathway Cable and Datacom Limited, promoted by Raheja Group, is one of the largest Multi-System Operator (MSO) and Cable Broadband service providers in India today. The market capitalization of Hathway as on 30 June 2017 stood at Rs 28 billion. Hathway also has over 52 percent share of the total MSO cable broadband market in the country. Hathway has its stronghold in central Indian states like Maharashtra.
This latest development could put existing players like Airtel and TataSky under pressure as this would mean the Jio GigaFiber launch could take place around Diwali as is being expected in the market. TataSky is already under fire for dropping 32 channels due to a breakdown in talk with Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN).
Tata Sky currently dominates the DTH market with 16 million subscribers. The DTH provider saw a six million jump over three years, says a report on Business Standard. Five million of these subscribers are HD subscribers and the number is growing steadily. Also, according to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) data, Tata Sky has 24 percent market share at the end of 2017, which was about 1 percent higher when compared to the previous year.
However, the Jio GigaFiber launch could disrupt the broadband scenario that currently exists. Jio GigaFiber is expected to be offered at 50% of the price of those offered by competitors, a marketing technique the Reliance owned company has applied in the telecom sector successfully. The broadband service will be simultaneously made available in 1100 cities and Reliance is targeting small, medium as well as large enterprises to use this service.
JioGigaFiber preview has already gone live for consumers since last month. Customers are being offered ‘ultra high-speed’ internet of up to 100Mbps for 90 days along with monthly data of 100 GB and a complimentary access to a host of Jio’s premium apps. GigaFiber router and the Jio GigaTV set-top box will come along with the Jio GigaFiber.