Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani today said Jio subscriber base is growing at a pace which it had itself had not expected at the time of launch.
“When we started Jio, we set a target for ourselves that we will acquire 100 million customers in shortest time. Even we didn’t imagine that we would do it in months,” Ambani said at the three-day Nasscom leadership forum.
The company has been providing free 4G service since its soft launch on December 27, 2015 for RIL employees only and later opened it for all customers on September 5, 2016 thus completing over 160 days of its commercial operations.
“We just set ourselves a goal. Aadhaar enabled us to acquire a million customer a day which is unheard of in the industry as a whole,” Ambani said. The company provides connection on basis of instant verification of Aadhaar number of customers.
Jio crossed 50 million subscribers in just 83 days, adding at an average rate of 6 lakh subscribers per day and surpassing the subscriber addition rates of global giants like Facebook, WhatsApp and Skype.
More recently, announcing its third quarter results, Reliance Industries had said that its telecom subsidiary Jio has garnered 72.4 million subscribers as of December 31, 2016.
However, the rapid ramp-up of subscriber base comes amid company’s ongoing stand-off with incumbent operators over network connectivity issues where Jio’s rivals have claimed to have provided it more than sufficient connection points for its subscribers growth which the Ambani led firm has strongly denied.
On February 8 this year, Airtel said it had provided adequate interconnect capacity to Jio to serve over 190 million customers and that the newcomer has been unable to activate all the points of interconnect (PoIs) and utilise the said capacity.
Mukesh Ambani-promoted Reliance Jio, however, termed Airtel’s claim as “malicious and misleading”.