Ever since Reliance Jio was first announced, it’s been getting a lot of attention. The Preview Offer that started in May first allowed Reliance employees, and then users of specific handsets, to try out the Jio network completely free without any limits on usage. For people who were on board in that period, theReliance Jio connection was fast, reliable, and a real alternative to the very limited broadband connections that we have in India.
With the launch of Reliance Jio, the company also announced its various plans, which were quite appealing. But perhaps best of all, it announced the Jio Welcome program, under which you can use4GB of 4G data daily on the Reliance Jio network without paying anything until December 31, 2016. That’s a lot of value to give away free, so it’s no surprise that everyone wants to be on the network nowWhich is why, predictably enough, Reliance Jio SIM cards are impossible to find now as the company is – according to sources – struggling to activate the huge number of SIMs it issued on the very first day of availability. However, that’s not the only problem that people are facing.
During the Preview Offer period, when the number of users on the ground was very low, people would excitedly share on social media how fast the connections were. As Gadgets 360 pointed out in every single article we wrote before the official launch, the Preview Offer could not realistically give a picture of what the Reliance Jio network would be like after the launch. One week in, it’s completely clear that speeds have plummeted, call drops are routine, and the network disconnects from time to time as it is slammed by huge numbers of users.
Now the latter at least can be blamed on Jio’s ongoing tussle with other telcos. Reliance Jio has called for MNP support from other telcos, and said that it will record operator-wise call-drops data. Last week, Trai also met with telcos to discuss interconnect issues. But even leaving aside those concerns, Jio is definitely facing a tough time in terms of delivering its service.
For example, during the Preview Offer period, seeing speeds between 20Mbps and 25Mbps was the norm in South Bengaluru. Now, seeing speeds in excess of 5Mbps is cause for celebration. Over an extended period of usage, typical speeds have stayed under 3.5Mbps.
The problem isn’t just limited to our own experience either. Many users who signed up for Reliance Jio during the preview offer are now finding the connection much slower than before.
“I was using it for all my calls earlier, but now the calls drop 25-30 times a day,” says Mihir Gupta, a Jio user based in Delhi. “Speeds are also much slower now. It’s still better for Internet, but for calling it’s become useless.”