Tag Archives: Reliance Jio

Reliance Jio is promoting the Jiofi M2 device (with a smaller, Nano slot) for Rs 999 instead of the previous price of Rs 2000.

Since the battery of my earlier Jiofi device has swollen up, and I’m on my second battery since purchase of the device, I decided to buy a couple of Jiofi devices to stock up, for the battery. I bought two devices from a Reliance Jio store, and one device from Amazon. Since I work at Cochin, and my home is at Trivandrum, I had the Jiofi device shipped to Trivandrum. I couldnt get to home last week and setup the device only last Sunday.

To get this device working, you need to insert the sim into a sim tray after sliding the tray back. The previous model had a different way to insert a sim. One could just slide the sim into the tray instead of the other way around. That used to be robust. I never had problems inserting the sim into the older device. Since I have four sims for my wifi device, I regularly swap sims and never had any complaints with the older generation Jiofi device.

But the very first time I inserted the sim into the new Jiofi device, the sim tray dislodged and came away in my hand. I swear I never applied any excess pressure. I should know. I’m quite adept in working with small electronic components and can open up my laptop and replace components without breaking things. But Jio’s new device is of very poor quality, especially in its sim tray. There’s half a millimetre of aluminium attaching it to the base, and it’s definitely not strong.

Since this is clearly a manufacturing defect by the Chinese company they send their contracts to, I decided to approach the Jio Centre at Cochin’s Oberon Mall. I gave the defective device to the service centre and asked for a device replacement as per terms of the manufacturer warranty. However the Jio Centre people were not willing to replace my defective device, even though it was hardly one week since the device was bought. They attributed the defect to “wear and tear”, which they claimed, is an exception under the terms of manufacturer warranty. They further insinuated that since I hadn’t reported the defect to Amazon within their return timeline of 10 days, I was probably lying to hide a physical damage that I had done to it. My explanation of not having been able to visit my home city for one week fell on deaf ears. They told me that my options were simple. Discard the device I bought at Rs 999 for, or optionally (as a favor) they could repair the product if I shelled out an additional Rs 800. They didn’t accept that the device is flimsily built and that normal pressure can dislodge the sim tray, even though there were four other people in a similiar situation lined up at the store, each having bought the device recently.

So, if you’re planning to get a Jiofi, and need to occasionally swap sims rather than work on one sim alone, think again. Maybe you should go for the slightly costlier Rs 1500 device. The sudden price drop could be a way to get this defective batch off the market quickly. Maybe Jio is bringing in a new model soon..

P.S: I love Jio’s trendsetting offers and plans, and consider myself a fan. But I believe a trustworthy company has to stand by its ideals and promises. If I cant trust Jio to replace a Rs 999 device under warranty, how can I trust Jio to return 80% of the upfront cost of the Rs 1 lakh iPhone that Jio plans to sell?

Reliance-Jio

Reliance Jio is an upcoming 4G service provider. Though the name Jio isnt a household name, the brand is far from being unknown. It’s a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, headed by the Mukesh Ambani. Though it may sound like yet another 4G provider in a market saturated by existing ventures, Jio is exciting for one reason-VOLTE, or voice over LTE. While existing telecom providers offer voice through the existing 2G spectrum, calls originating in Jio network travel as data packets through 4G network. As such, theoretically the calls ought to be crisper (since more high quality voice data can be transferred when the medium is high bandwidth 4G network) and cheaper. I read that Jio’s vision is to provide LTE data that’s affordable to everyone. Gauging by the prelaunch offers Jio provides, one can definitely expect something awesome.

Having a friend who works in Jio, I had early bird access to a Jio sim. My experience with the fledgeling service was nothing short of enthralling. Awesome download speeds and great clarity were the norm with the occasional disconnection. Initially I could use only data on my Oneplus One, since the phone didn’t support VOLTE. But Jio soon rectified this and paved the way for the masses to experience firsthand, something than can be described as nothing short of exciting. For the first time, one could experience excellent data speeds which Indians had hitherto only dreamed of.

IMG_20160729_215809-01

Jio is now impeding launch, and tens of thousands of Indians are now putting Jio’s bandwidth to the ultimate test. Jio initially offered its preview offer to employee sims, and thereafter open the doors to owners of selected Samsung high value phones. Then, knowingly or unknowingly, they left open a “bug” which allowed owners of other brands 4G handsets to register to the service and experience the “in-thing”. If you ask me, it was not a bug. Most probably at some high level of the management, they may have made a conscious decision to allow¬†other customers access to the service. For the best way to engender curiosity and improve market presence by marketing is passive marketing, by word of mouth. Jio didnt even need to launch ads, already there’s a huge demand for their sim cards.

Word is rife in Whatsapp and Telegram groups that people are even reselling employee sims at a huge price because of the sheer demand for a Jio sim!

Anyway, the speeds of Jio have been excellent. The following is a speedtest that I did today at Kochi. Let the figures speak for themselves:

Screenshot_20160729-133119

Anyway, one thing is clear, Reliance Jio will give the rest of the service providers a nightmare once it releases! For consumers, it’s a dream come true.

It’s not fair to be critical of Jio at this point of time when it has not yet commercially launched. However, the following sum up my experience with Jio:

Call quality: Calls on Jio require either a VOLTE supported handset. If you don’t have one, don’t despair, because the company has launched an Android app, Jiojoin which helps non-VOLTE handset users make calls (including video calls), send sms and more. The app does its work, but it could have been better designed. The fonts are small, and the interface unintuitive. It also seems to hold¬†wakelocks, which are never a good idea, since it drains your battery quickly. Once the app is redesigned and the bugs removed, everyone can join the VOLTE bandwagon. Oh and did I mention that as a preview offer, All India calls are free for 90 days?

Data: This is the awesome part of Jio. Internet connectivity is excellent, barring the occasional disconnection (location specific no doubt). In Trivandrum at least disconnection rate is very high, and it’s difficult to make calls without getting disconnected very soon. By the looks of it, Jio is working hard to fix their network.

Jio may very well deliver on its promises of “shaping the future of India by providing end-to-end digital solutions for businesses, institutions and households and seamlessly bridging the rural-urban divide.”.