Almost a whole floor in a building in Reliance's 550-acre corporate Navi Mumbai park is dedicated to what is called the Jio Experience Centre. The centre has 23 pods which showcase Jio's current services as well as its plans for the future.
Currently, Reliance Jio is content with the '4G network provider' tag, but it aims to offer much more and be known as a technology company. Jio is looking at a presence in many more sectors in the near and not-so-near future.
Besides network services, Jio is providing VoLTE calls on HD Voice for free. HD Voice refers to inherent noise cancellation during calls. Jio also offers video calls over their network. The company claims to be a true IP-based network that uses 4G for calls and data both. Jio has also initiated the use of Rich Communication Services (RCS) which can loosely be defined as a replacement for SMS, with features such as live files, maps, and image sharing.
When Jio was launched, Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries, promised the activation of a new SIM card within 15 minutes by employing a user's Aadhar card's eKYC (electronic Know Your Customer) feature. To extend the instant verification facility for those who have other kinds of ID documents, Jio plans to release a document scanner app.
Besides offering cloud based services, Jio has a presence in offline services in the form of JioMoney, which is now in the spotlight thanks to the prime minister's demonetisation announcement.
Besides accepting payments in all Reliance outlets, JioMoney has tied up with several local kirana stores across India. The company also plans to roll out location-based offers soon, so that, if you have Jio Money, you might get to know of particular offers at a nearby mall. JioMoney is also hoping to target public transport such as the metro at some point in the future. Cashless metro payments would be attractive to millions of commuters in Indian cities.
Jio's most impressive offering aims at providing high-speed broadband Internet connectivity to home users. Ambani had announced on 1 September that the company would bring Gigabit Internet to India. The fibre has already been laid out and testing has begun in cities such as Mumbai. If executed well, it would be a boon for Internet users given that the current average Internet speed in India is a pitiful 3.5 Mbps.
Jio also plans to release Nvidia Shield Android TV boxes to provide better home entertainment. With apps such as JioTV, television channels would be riding on the back of the strong Internet instead of the cable network. A box such as Shield TV can also carry gaming capability. Jio is working on deals with gaming studios such as Electronic Arts to bring premium games to its platform.
The company has also made an app that enables you to stream a video, a movie, a photo slide or a song on all the devices in your home. One machine can act as a server and be controlled through the app. Jio is working on a number of WiFi extenders to boost network signal inside homes.
Jio is also planning to tap the auto sector with what it calls the Jio drive experience. Through the common car connector and an embedded Jio SIM, a car owner will be able to keep track of his vehicle's vital stats. There are other ways in which the app will work -- if you are giving your car to a family member, you can put a 'fence' on where the car can go, and will be alerted if the car goes beyond that area. You would also be able to kill the engine remotely. The feature is currently under testing.
Jio has also launched a bunch of apps. There are some content apps, already out there, for music streaming, movie consumption, and TV. Then there are Jio Newspaper and Jio Mag for your daily and weekly reading habit. The company has partnered with many publication houses to cater to the needs of different readers.
Jio plans to release apps such as JioHealth to store medical reports, JioEducation for education content in rural areas, and JioData Transfer to send and receive data between an old phone and a new phone.
The challenge for Jio is to bring the amazing array of technological demos at the Jio Experience Centre to life.