Jio to provide free STB with every broadband connection

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led company is slated to launch optical fibre-based JioFibre broadband service from September 5. Reuters file photo

Telecom operator Reliance Jio is likely to provide a free set-top box with its every broadband connection to woo direct-to-home and cable TV customers, according to a source privy to the development.

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led company is slated to launch optical fibre-based JioFibre broadband service from September 5.

"All JioFibre customers will get a complimentary set-top box," the source said.

Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani have announced that JioFibre customers will get free voice calls for life from a landline, 100 megabits (Mbps) to 1 gigabit per second broadband speed for subscription starting from Rs 700 a month and a free HD TV set on a commitment to an annual plan.

According to the source, JioFibre customers will have access to movies and other video content of leading entertainment mobile apps, whose subscription fee will be bundled in the monthly broadband connection rates and no separate charges will be levied.

"The STB will also provide video calling service on TV sets. The customer will need to attach a camera with the STB for the service," the source said.

An email query sent to Reliance Jio did not elicit any reply.

According to experts, JioFibre is likely to dent business of direct-to-home players.

Early this week, Bharti Airtel announced a new STB for Rs 3,999 on Xstream platform to offer content of video streaming mobile apps, except few leading over-the-top players, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Videos and Hotstar.

The Sunil Bharti Mittal-led company has offered complimentary access to entertainment streaming applications like ZEE5, Hooq, Hoi Choi, Eros Now, HungamaPlay, ShemarooMe, Ultra and Curiosity Stream for the first year after which customers can continue their subscription by paying annual fee of Rs 999.

The STB can also be connected with Airtel's DTH service for accessing live TV channels.

According to the source, some of the entertainment content available on Bharti Airtel will also be available on JioFibre.

Jio already has a tie-up with Hotstar for mobile devices and partially owns Eros Now. 

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