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FTTH: The new weapon Mukesh Ambani is planning to fire

After majorly disrupting the telecom market with freebies and cheap data, Mukesh Ambani‘s

Reliance

Jio is going to unleash another weapon— Fiber to the home (FTTH).

It is expected to disrupt the segment of home broadband services now. It is likely to offer an attractive combo of fast broadband connectivity at initial data speeds of 100 Mbps (with huge dollops of free data thrown in), videos and unlimited voice calls through the Vo-IP (voice over internet protocol) route for around Rs 1,000-1,500 a month.

What is FTTH?

FTTH, as the name suggests, means installing the fiber cable right up to the inpidual building. At present, the fiber cable reaches only till the main premises while the last connections to inpidual homes/offices are through traditional copper cable.

Why is FTTH faster?
The cable used for connections to inpidual units is not made of fibre. The traditional cable is not as efficient as the fiber cable. Due to patches, etc, the traditional cable is slower. A fiber cable till the inpidual unit dramatically increases speed and quality and improves the experience of surfing, gaming and streaming, etc. FTTH could be 100 times faster than the traditional modem connections. FTTH is also costlier than the traditional cable.

Is Jio the first FTTH provider?
No. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) already offers FTTH broadband schemes in Kolkata and Chennai. However, Jio’s entry in FTTH will at a much bigger scale and more aggressive. Jio is running a pilot in many cities.

What will be Jio’s impact?
An aggressive FTTH service launch by Jio can cause two sets of disruptions, according to Rohan Dhamija, partner & head for India, South Asia & Middle East at Analysys Mason. First, it can immediately disrupt home broadband pricing, forcing rivals such as Airtel to slash rates. Second, it could also have a secondary impact on the larger mobile services market, if Jio chooses to bundle generous wired broadband packs with its current 4G plans.