Reliance Jio Launches Its ‘Jio Chat’ IM Service [Are ISPs Being Smart By Trying To Do It All?]

Reliance Jio has launched its very first product ‘Jio Chat’, an instant messaging client  with voice and video calling features.
Reliance Jio Chat Logo
The app is currently available for download on Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store, and works with any Indian mobile number, irrespective of the operator. Jio Chat uses mobile number authentication and SMS based activation.
Apart from the traditional chat, voice and video services, Jio Chat can also act as a channel for celebrities and brands to connect with users, sort of like LINE. Stickers, conference calling, and a host of privacy features make up the rest of Jio Chat.
Jio Chat is apparently one of many digital services that are expected to come from Reliance Jio, including a music streaming service, video-on demand service and a friend-locator app.
Reliance Jio Infocomm is all set to roll out its 4G offering in a few months, with over 30,000 towers of its own and will cover over 800 cities in India.
Reliance Jio Chat 1Reliance Jio Chat 2
By launching its own services, the company plans to own the channel as well as the end user. It’s a win-win situation, but one that brings up several questions about the much hyped phenomenon of Net Neutrality.
If the government allows ISPs to begin charging OTT service providers a gateway fee, Reliance Jio will be at an inherent advantage, while all third-party services at a disadvantage. However, looking at the recent protests following the launch of Airtel Zero, the intelligence of the move can be questioned.
Moreover, there’s been a recent trend of ISPs flocking to the OTT services space, which is fine. But being on a particular network doesn’t mean customers will end up using services from the same company, which is what a lot of the business pitches going around sound like.
Partnering with third-party apps and services is another option, which helps developers grow their user base, while more customers consume data on the network. However, looking at the success of such partnerships, it does seem that ISPs are looking at a way to bypass sharing gains with others.

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