Despite claiming a total of 108.9 million subscribers at the end of March 2017, disruptive newcomer to the Indian mobile segment Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio) has reported revenue of just INR12.2 million (USD188,731) for the twelve months to that date – down from INR31.5 million in the previous year – due to the cellco offering its services virtually free of charge since its launch in September 2016. Jio’s expenses for the year totalled INR491.3 million, compared to INR271.4 million in the preceding year, with the lion’s share of the increase attributed to an INR141.2 million increase in sale and distribution costs. Consequently, the provider’s net loss for the period nearly doubled year-on-year to INR313.7 million.
Although the operator’s financial results for the year were poor, parent company Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) lauded the provider’s success in subscriber takeup, noting that 72 million customers had opted to become paying ‘Jio Prime’ customers by the end of March 2017. According to RIL, Jio’s network now carries more than 1.1 billion GB of data per month and 2.2 billion voice and video minutes per day. The group also announced that it would be adding to its more than 100,000 LTE tower sites with the construction of 100,000 new sites by the end of the year, targeting mobile coverage of 95% of the population. Meanwhile, Jio has also moved on to beta trials of its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) service, with the operator adding that it plans to expand the scope of the trials in the next few months.