Disruptive newcomer to the wireless market Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio) has begun trialling fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) services in six cities, taking a step closer to entering the fixed broadband segment, the Economic Times writes, citing a social media post from the cellco. The FTTH service, dubbed ‘JioFiber’ has been made available to customers in selected areas of Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Jamnagar, Surat and Vadodara at a special rate, as Jio gears up for a full commercial launch, expected to take place next month. The JioFiber Preview offer provides users with access to downlink speeds of up to 100Mbps at no cost for the first three months.
In a related development, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has ordered a detailed investigation into alleged anti-competitive practices employed by incumbent wireless providers to hinder Jio’s launch. The investigation followed a complaint filed by Jio with the Indian antitrust watchdog last November, accusing the lead trio of Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular of forming a cartel to deny the new entrant sufficient points of interconnection (PoI), leading to widespread disruption and call failures for Jio’s customers. The CCI has also reportedly ordered a probe into the functioning of industry body the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) on the basis that it was used a platform to promote the interests of the incumbents and hold back Jio’s entry – despite Jio also being a member of the organisation.