Those awaiting Jio GigaFiber are now breathing a sigh of relief after Reliance announced an acquisition in Den Networks and Hathway Cable and Datacom. Jio’s parent company made a primary investment of Rs. 2,045 crore through a preferential issue under SEBI regulations and secondary purchase of Rs. 245 crore from the existing promoters for a 66% stake in Den Networks Limited.
Furthermore, a primary investment of Rs. 2,940 crore was made for a 51.3% stake in Hathway Cable and Datacom Limited. Stating this move as a “win-win outcome” for the Local Cable Operators (LCOs), consumers, content providers and overall eco-system, Jio hopes to connect homes with the Jio GigaFiber on a priority basis. Although there is no official confirmation from Reliance, initial buzz in the market suggested that the Jio GigaFiber powered Jio DTH should be available by Diwali.
“Through these investments, Reliance and Jio will be strengthening the 27,000 LCOs that are aligned with DEN and Hathway to enable them to participate in the digital transformation of India through (a) access to superior back-end infrastructure; (b) tie-ups with content producers; (c) access to latest business platforms to improve business efficiencies and deliver customer experience; and (d) investment in digital infrastructure for connecting customers. This will create multiple future opportunities for LCOs as Jio rolls out new services and platforms,” says a press release issued by Reliance.
However, there is still one final hurdle that the Jio GigaFiber launch may face. Legacy infrastructure is a challenge for Jio or any other enterprise looking to completely embrace the digital way of functioning. Existing Hathway and Den networks could be using age old technology in certain areas. Therefore, Reliance may need to invest further into laying out new cables to replace the older ones laid out by Den and Hathway for they could be limited to lower broadband speeds, says a report on News 18.
Nonetheless, Jio has already started to conect 50 million homes across 1,100 cities via Jio GigaFiber. The company expresses commitment to work with Hathway and Den and also other LCOs to offer an affordable upgrade to JioGigaFiber and Jio Smart-Home Solutions or JIO DTH to the 24 million existing cable connected homes of these companies across 750 cities. This also makes it seem like Jio wants to leave no stone unturned to connect 50 million homes and 10 million enterprises with JioGigaFiber in the shortest possible time.
Jio also hinted during the company’s second quarter earnings conference that Jio GigaFiber tariffs would be reasonable, a strategy owned in the past as well in the telecom sector. Jio also announced that Homes connected by the 1Gbps speed Jio GigaFiber in the initial phase have witnessed meaningful increase in data consumption led by superior user experience on dedicated fiber connectivity to every home.