A new player in any industry will aim to be disruptive and shake up the established order. In India's fast-consolidating mobile market, Reliance Jio, with its launch of 4G services in September last year, seems to be gleefully playing that disruptor role. Led by Mukesh Ambani, India's richest man, the operator is responsible for a raft of innovations that have forever changed the rules of the local game.
Capturing more than 125 million subscribers in the first ten months of operations, Reliance Jio has become the fastest-growing service provider in the world. Its most important innovations over the last year are as follows:
While India's incumbents have copied RJio in all of these cases, they have not always been followers. Airtel has made it possible for subscribers to carry forward their leftover data from the previous month. It also came up with a plan allowing users on a "family plan" to save 20% on their monthly bills and to create customized plans for different members.
But India's telcos must learn to be more innovative as part of their modus operandi, taking full advantage of key assets like subscriber data. That is not easy. Legacy infrastructure and organizational structure are likely to hinder such innovation, and some older players lack RJio's deep pockets. Ultimately, RJio has pushed the industry out of its comfort zone.
— Gagandeep Kaur, contributing editor, special to Light Reading