Friday, September 09, 2016

Is Jio Doing a Google Thing in India?

With the announcement of commercial launch of Jio in India, it is now time for the operators to re-think their position in the market. Over the years telcos were providing services on their networks and now they are fat with the traditional voice calls and texts. As Mukesh Ambani explains it as 'Datagiri' it is actually the network capacity and reach of network will define how strong is the mobile operator.

Along with LTE network (both TDD & FDD over 2300 MHz and 1800/850MHz) for mobile services, Jio will roll out nearly 1 million WiFi hotspots across country by middle of 2017. Jio's LTE and WiFi Hotspots are backed by enormous fiber backbone. What I want say that Jio will upkick level of India's telecommunications to something which developed nations are enjoying.

Project Fi - Google's MVNO in US:

In US Google is doing similar thing without owning a network. In April 2015, Google has launched its MVNO services in US under the branding of 'Project Fi' which connects the user to best WiFi or cellular networks (backed by Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular and Three). Google announced LTE/HSPA+ roaming in Europe for Project Fi users in February 2016, while international roaming is available over 135 countries as of now.

For roaming in Europe for Project Fi users in July this year Google had made a deal with Hue to use different operators across the continent. However as per a Hue spokesperson the arrangement does not cover markets where Hutchison lacks a network presence.

Back in April 2015 global investment bank Hutchison Whampoa launched a new global initiative called HUE. Hue’s Mobile Virtual Network Enabler (MVNE) platform offers a wide range of services, from mobile network access through to CRM, billing and provisioning as well as the potential to interface with third-party providers, such as credit management agencies and logistics partners. Apart from this, HUE will help the virtual operator to go multinational and that's put Hue as a trendsetter.

Hue's parent company Hutchison Whampoa operates in Austria, Australia, Denmark, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Ireland, Macau, Sri Lanka, Sweden, UK and Vietnam. In most of the countries Hutchison serves under the iconic brand of 'Three'. So going international using HUE's platform would be easier and Hue will help to negotiate deals with other operators apart from the ones owned by Hutchison Whampoa.

As website reads, Hue ( is an operator-led, end-to-end Mobile Virtual Network Enabler (MVNE) and part of the Hutchison Whampoa Group. Leveraging Hutchison Whampoa’s global footprint, Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) customers can connect to operators with a single point of entry through Hue’s platform.

Google India's WiFi Offering:

Planned in September, 2015 Google rolled out an ambitious project in India - "the largest public Wi-Fi project in the world" in January 2016, partnering Railtel, the telecom arm of Indian Railways. With the target to reach 400 rail stations of the country, Google and Railtel has launched free public WiFi in 19 circles in next 6 months - connecting 15 lakh Indians and counting. (Source: Google India Blog) One thing Google has noticed that the demand of free WiFi is much in tier II cities where broadband connectivity is poor and 3G coverage is limited. 

I must say what Google wants to achieve in developing countries, that's similar to objective of Jio. Only difference Jio is meant for India only.

So at a point they might shake their hands.

Another version of this story is available on -
Jio vs Google Project Fi : Too Much Similarities
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