The top challenges for me right now to move back there are 1. Rampant corruption in state government offices (especially with land registrations, legal heir certificates) 2. Extreme levels of sanitation/drainage issues even in metros 3. Personal indiscipline of the people. There is now some transparency because of digital transformation/e-governance. I think in a decade, (1) and (2) will be addressed. It will take miracles to fix (3). Jio pretty much stepped up the competition and other providers are fighting hard to give good speeds. I am happy about indirect benefits of technology.
Jio has also made sure that my youtube homepage is filled with soft porn. It is an absolute scourge.
WhatsApp rumour mongering has increased a lot with lynchings happening based on the fact that law and order can’t keep up pace with technology.
I also see that lots of unemployed people now are just engrossed in WhatsApp videos nearly all day. It should have made job searching easier, but wages are depressed to such a degree that people just lose all hope and find solace in the mindless videos. Indirect consequences of the technology too.
Communal violence under Modi has increased, even if it is a local maxima but their rhetoric is acerbic towards minorities and it shows. Now onto the communal violence sources:-
WhatsApp specific lynchings:
The net outcome is what matters and it always is positive.
I live in USA but I am of Indian origin. My parents' apartment in India now has Fiber Internet with 80Mbps at 1000INR (15USD)/month. On my recent travel (Aug 2018), I had Jio and was working remotely. It is so cheap to get Jio. I had 0 issues and I was praising the Internet situation in India for the first time in the last decade. Seriously, good changes in Internet situation.
The top challenges for me right now to move back there are 1. Rampant corruption in state government offices (especially with land registrations, legal heir certificates) 2. Extreme levels of sanitation/drainage issues even in metros 3. Personal indiscipline of the people. There is now some transparency because of digital transformation/e-governance. I think in a decade, (1) and (2) will be addressed. It will take miracles to fix
About 1: What you see is actually a massive improvement from last decade. National level corruption is so low (low, not gone completely) as compared to last year, its incredibly liberating
About 2: Again, so much better than last decade. You can ask your parents if they feel India has changed way beyond what they've lived through. Especially in Tier 1 cities which are almost western but with Indian tinge
About 3: I think that is just the way of life in India. This will not go away soon. Come to think of it, I don't think it needs to. This is part of culture and the indiscipline allows for innovative folks to capitalize and make money with improved efficiencies in Jugaad
1. Free voice calls
2. 100 SMS/ day
3. 1.5GB High speed data/ day (20+ MBPS)- Post which unlimited @ 64 Kbps
4. Subscription to Jio apps like Music/ Movies/ News
The page shows pricing at $5.7, everyone I know has always received a discount voucher for Rs 50.
That's not all - you also get free access to Jio's music service, movie library, streaming TV, and cloud storage.
Not to take away anything from your point.
But I see plenty of cab drivers watch movies, youtube and use other services like Google maps.
But there are other inspiring stories. A few months back I saw a video of street flute seller who learned to play the flute through the internet. Here is one story of a Coolie who prepared for civil services exams using internet: https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/08051...
You will see plenty of stories where people are using internet to do something of value.
"JIO GIGA FIBER will be the largest greenfield fixed-line broadband rollout anywhere in the world, with rollout happening in 1,100 cities of India simultaneously"
In India last year it was difficult as a foreigner to get Jio, so went with a couple of other providers (Airtel and Vodophone) -- not expensive at all, but coverage was dicey up in Rishikesh where I was staying.
France was the best wrt to price/data ratio, something like 20 Euros per month with Orange got me 40GB, that was really nice to have away from any big cities (Capbreton).
$35 400 Minutes 900MB 400 SMSs
$50 600 Minutes 1200MB 600 SMSs
Ultimately this is game of who runs out of capital first. Jio has a debt of >1,25,000 crore as of now. Airtel has plenty of cash reserves which it is burning to sustain through this.
Data is still not cheap. Its being subsidized. For how long, no one knows. Until Airtel or Jio run out of cash, or think they must stop bankrupting themselves in a price war which no one can win.
Another important thing is Mukesh Ambani has plans for e-commerce. So I guess he is playing a big game on that end too.
Consumers are benefitting though.
Bonus statistic: Jio alone is serving more data than all US networks combined.
Telecom infrastructure is like any other infrastructure—vastly more expensive to build in the west, and in the US in particular. New Dehli’s new subway sections were built for about $70 million per km. Typical in Europe is $200-500 million. New York spent $1.7 billion per km on its newest subway sections.
Dude. Charter Communications posted 10 billion dollars net income for 2017. They have under 100,000 employees. They could raise each of their employees' wages by $100K and still have money left over at the end of the year. It ain't the wages.
1) Charter didn't really make $10 billion in profit last year. That figure is the result of a one-time accounting change: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/charter-announces-f.... This happened to many companies last year--when the corporate tax rate was lowered, they had to re-valuate any tax assets or liabilities using the new rate: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/with-deferred-liabilities-.... That resulted in big one-time gains or losses depending on whether the company had deferred tax assets or deferred tax liabilities. Microsoft booked a $6.3 billion loss in Q2 of this year for similar reasons. That doesn't mean Microsoft is losing money hand over fist!
2) It's more useful to look at Charter's income from operations (page 31 of their 2017 annual report: http://ir.charter.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=112298&p=irol-reportsa...). That has ranged from $3 to 4 billion over the last few years on about $40 billion in revenue. That means that if Charter merely tried to break even, it could lower customer prices by about 10%.
3) Also useful is the breakdown of expenses, which starts at page 37 of the annual report. Out of $40 billion in revenues, $26 billion was spent on operating expenses. Of that, $10.6 billion is the cost of buying video programming, while the rest is maintenance, support, overhead, etc. That $15 billion-ish is dominated by labor costs. Then there is another $10 billion in depreciation, which is the annual decrease in the value of the actual network. The cost of building the network is not counted as an expense, but is instead booked as a capital asset. Each year, the accounting of income accounts for the decreasing value of that asset. That depreciation also reflects primarily labor costs (i.e. the labor costs incurred in building the asset).
4) Much of the plant maintenance and construction is handled by contractors, who wouldn't be counted in the 100,000 employees.
I'm not sure where I read this. But I remember reading several years back, Airtel doesn't buy telecom equipment, it actually leases it, and pays for it as it goes. Which is why the prices were so low even for a new tech rollout like 4G.
Not sure if Jio has the same model.
>>Telecom infrastructure is like any other infrastructure—vastly more expensive to build in the west
Apart from land acquisition costs. India doesn't buy TBMs(Tunnel Boring Machines), from what I know. TBM's are a very capital expensive investment. But pace of building things is very slow in India compared to any such project in the west.
Having said that India does do frugal engineering well.
I'm not saying they don't use it. I'm saying they don't buy it. They lease it. Bangalore Metro's snail pace is largely due to inability to afford renting more TBM's.
TBM's are not cheap. Not for the budget projects like Bangalore(and other cities get) metro gets. Delhi and Mumbai are a different deal, as government spends money through a fire hose there. In fact South India pays most of the taxes and gets little in return, compared to North, which gets >1 rupee for every rupee it contributes to the exchequer.
South Indian cities are not that lucky.
One of the feedbacks that went into further phases for Bangalore Metro was to get more TBMs. They only used like 4 for the first phase, and even there one broke down and it took like months to get it fixed.
I used to do some work at Airtel but I cross checked what I posted here against publicly available information, for example from https://www.zdnet.com/article/airtel-chops-ibm-contract-in-h...
Also, price is a function of what the return value and need to have capital to invest with, not just the minimum cost to operate once things are set in place.
- Unlimited high speed data (4g)
- 500 sms per month
- 500 minutes
And you can probably get a better deal as well.
I think I pay 20€ for 3GB per month.
Yes, it's just that I don't get nearlY 60kbits when it's throttled
They also have an XL flat rate which includes 5,5GB LTE that costs 15€/month. So you pay like 18€ in the first month and then 15€ in the following months.
This isn't bad, but I don't get O² net where I live, so I can only use Vodafone based offerings.
And this is considered a good deal
No it's not. There are tons of cheaper plans out there from cheaper carriers like Public Mobile/Koodo/Fido and etc. You just have to look up for them. I used to pay 40 for 4GB/month and now I am at 12GB/month for 55. Still not cheap, but not as bad as what you are saying.
3GB/month for 15$
One of the reason for India's economic success in the digital age is awesome and affordable telecommunications infrastructure.
You can't run a good start up ecosystem, or even a decent economic ecosystem without these things these days.
China mobile Pakistan - 200 Gb package for $65
Jio - ~30 gb for $6 a month, you can't humanly consume exactly 1.5 Gb per day.
200 : 65 = ~3.1
30 : 6 = ~5
Best case scenario, 45 : 6 = 7.5
So it is twice as cheap, but not by a factor of 10
I'm shedding bitter tears.
Why not? Stream at high def for a few hours and you should be done.
Seriously, you need to watch like a HD movie everyday to exhaust that kind of quota. Unless you are flush with money and entirely jobless, you won't exactly be spending hours of your time everyday doing this.
But cheap plans let you use things like Google Maps, Collaborate over WhatsApp, Send recieve/picture videos etc. That kind of stuff is important for productivity for an economy. Especially for everyday business people this works wonders.
You can get it for around $65 now https://www.zong.com.pk/internet/mobile-broadband/mbb-plans
That is when I really understood how gamechanging Jio is to India. There is nothing even closely comparable to it anywhere in UK atleast and I believe the same is true for most developed countries.
Another thing hard to ignore is the cost disparity between data in India and the developed nations; data in India is cheaper by at least a few times.
But, if someone is thinking the reason behind it is his philanthropy or something, forget about it. He's the biggest businessman in India, and just wants to capture all the market and all of its 'data'. Ambani wants his company to become India's Google.
That being said, thanks to him, literally (almost) everyone in India is on the internet these days.
Reliance has gone through a lot of restructuring, family issues and some shady flak, but they have been the major drivers of both mobile and internet revolution in India. Interestingly, both at the same price point then (2003) and now: INR500 (USD7 at today's rates).
You can find my reference here: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/...
Even though that is still less than half of India's population, it is a bit misleading to put it that way because 500 million internet users is a HUGE number specially for a country like India where GDP Per capita is still very low compared to other similar economies. So I would say that is AWESOME. Long way to go for other things but Indians are way forward when it comes to Telecom/Internet in my opinion
India has a great Android phone ecosystem and the sub 10,000 rupee phones are really good. But 10,000 rupees is still quite a bit of cash for many people.
Things don't work when I most need it. I cannot book an Uber in the middle of the city. The uber drivers struggle to get the navigation right. I sometimes hear "All channels occupied" error when I'm calling. I never knew such an error existed.
I had tried Jio in the initial days. The coverage was spotty at best. No one I know use Jio as a primary connection. Most people use a dual SIM phone, which I don't have.
Even if the access of internet has increased, the overall quality of cell service has decreased at lot, no matter what the carrier.
Edit: Bypass the paywall - http://facebook.com/l.php?u=https://www.wsj.com/articles/two...
> “It’s called Deep Packet Inspection, and what you can do with the analytics of that is mind-boggling,” said a senior Reliance executive, referring to a practice that digs into ‘packets’ of data created by computers for efficiency, mining them for information.
Question is: What strategies can competitors adopt when faced with a market participant like this?
Today, Tata DoCoMo barely exists. Some competitors introduced a similar version of billing, others just waited them out.
Connecting a Gameboy Color to a cellular phone and having it make HTTP-type requests to Nintendo servers for data, way back in 1999 or so
Edit: Also, they have free services like Cinema, TV, Music, Cloud, etc all included with that $6 plan.
It would be fascinating to see how their behaviour differs from those who have come to the internet via the normal route.
Besides the rates etc, what Jio has been able to do also is leapfrog straightaway to a pure LTE network, with no GSM at all, with VoLTE. Other providers have to maintain a legacy GSM network and also support LTE. They have gone from 0 to 215 million subscribers in just 2 years, which is incredible.
A lot of people have mentioned that Mukesh Ambani is doing this the second time - even the first launch had a major impact. At that time India had incredible high cellular rates, and the launch of Reliance Communications in early 2000s really changed the game for mobile connectivity in India. So this is the second time he has upset the apple cart.
CloudFront egress for India: $0.170/GB.[Jio gives to user : $0.044/GB under ideal daily max consumption].
CloudFront egress for USA: $0.085/GB .... This is HALF of Indian rates.
Some side effects of Jio have been :
1. average media consumption per user, specifically video(youtube, netflix, amazon prime) has gone up drastically
2. voip calls(audio & video calls on whatsapp, telegram) have gone up drastically !
3. A lot of users, especially youngsters i know, dont download content anymore, they stream it !
Its an interesting usage behaviour shift !
I think Jio's end game is content - getting Indian users to pay for content will be tricky though !(there have been very few successes - unlike the us, the average indian user doesnt like paying for digital subscription content ,
paid tech news and analysis site, https://the-ken.com/ is an exception)
About 1.5 years ago, my broadband bill was about $30 at 16mbps capped at 80GB/month from Airtel.
Now Airtel is offering me 100mbps at ~$13 capped at 250GB/month
I'm paying $15/ month for 100mbps with FUP at 750GB/ month
Internet in India has suddenly become really good. Made my work so much easier
Firstly, it used to insist on Aadhaar (the resident ID linked with biometrics) to provide a connection. I'm not sure if that has changed in the recent times and if it accepts other documents.
Secondly, as someone else pointed out here, Jio is an unsustainable model. While the prices charged by other telecoms/ISPs could go down a bit, what Jio is doing is creating a bloodbath where everyone sinks, including Jio. Jio already has huge debts. I don't think that bodes well for consumers, and would negatively affect how much things can improve in the coming years. This could result in a deep and long stagnation once all companies have no money and have huge debts. After all, telecom is a capital intensive business, combined with the operational expenses that are more specific to the Indian scenario (and not applicable in some developed economies) — like a competitor cutting the cables of another provider in a area and creating a mass outage, roads being dug without warning or planning to lay cables and not repaired later (sometimes resulting in fines to the company), etc.
Lastly, Jio is from Reliance, a big conglomerate that has a reputation of being unethical in many ways.  This may be considered as being compensated by some of the good that has been done by the company, but it still cannot be completely ignored. The 2007 Hindi movie "Guru"  is a fictionalized depiction of the beginnings of Reliance and about Dhirubhai Ambani (the founder).
Full article here:
I hope Jio fiber change this situation.
3g Data Mobile Recharge Plans:
Rs. 298 - 28 days - 1 GB 3G Data. Thats $5 for 1GB of data with 28 day validity.
But If you look at their 4G data plan it will be completely different thanks to Jio.
Please note this isn't first time Mukesh Ambani is dipping his feet into telecommunications. He did before too, but he lost that business to Anil Ambani.
Apparently Jio is like his dream project.
I don't get this. Jio has been posting profits for a while.
It is debt nevertheless.
Its like say took like a crore to start a business, and you are making like a profit of 50000 a month. Its profit, but it isn't exactly profit in an absolute sense, given you have to pay back 1 cr.
The thing about companies like Reliance is they can afford to do this. They have debt of $37 billion(https://telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/cash-rich-...) and they want to raise another $3 billion.
So yes, they post profits. Based on what your definition of profit is.
The infrastructure he built is sure going to be used for years to come.
But then you realize he is a business man. duh.
Some of the ideas that has clicked in India in the recent past are things like PPP(Public private partnership), BOP(Build and operate) models. Basically you build out highways and other national infrastructure and then you recover the money from toll.
These days you can exit Bangalore in any direction, and have access to darn good highways. I typically travel to districts around Bangalore to see my relatives, and the highway infrastructure is almost on par with international standards. And this is with every single exit route from Bangalore. Karnataka in general has good infrastructure.
Even inside Bangalore, the NICE road and elevated highway reminded me of US freeways. Very clean, and high quality roads.
You have to pay toll though. It largely works. Ultimately if you have enough economic activity, things will pay for themselves.
Most of the large businesses you see in the world today have, over their lifetime, raised much more than that in investments.
Archive.is/fo/li blocks cloudflare DNS.
> has shelled out $35 billion of the company’s money
I'm also tired of all these publications that brainlessly give credit for achievements to the CEO like those that suck Elon Musk off for things his engineers have done. Not that I should expect anything better than a journal named after Wall Street.
During my years of HN usage, I don't remember ever seeing another username enforcing the rules, only yours.
sctb also moderates: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12073675
As icebraining pointed out, sctb is the other moderator who posts publicly. https://news.ycombinator.com/posts?id=sctb.