India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, is a legend of technology. He runs the most awesome telecom business in the world through the Reliance Jio brand. The news at the moment is that he is going into the video conferencing business, and in extension, will challenge the dominance of Zoom. JioMeet has most things Zoom has in addition to no “short time limit on a call’s duration”: ‘Jio Platforms says a free call can be uninterrupted for “up to 24 hours” long’.
India’s Reliance Jio Platforms, which recently concluded a $15.2 billion fundraise run, is ready to enter a new business: Video conferencing.
On Thursday evening, the firm — backed by Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man — formally launched JioMeet, its video-conference service that looks uncannily like Zoom.
Like Zoom and Google Meet, JioMeet offers unlimited number of free calls in high definition (720p) to users and supports as many as 100 participants on a call. But interestingly, it appears to not impose a short time limit on a call’s duration. Jio Platforms says a free call can be uninterrupted for “up to 24 hours” long. The service currently has no paid plans and it’s unclear if Jio Platforms, which has a reputation of giving away services for free for years, plans to change that.
Reliance Jio has raised an excess of $15 billion. It has more than 400 million users. One of its main investors is Facebook. I do think that JioMeet platform may not have a payment plan (it currently does not) and could be free in perpetuity. It will make money through a partnership for Facebook to sell adverts in the video conference platform. Because Facebook cannot build a Zoom clone due to antitrust issues, Jio can make that happen by providing a platform of the future in the age of WFH, and Facebook will have access to the users it needs. In the coming months, expect a more integrated fusion for Facebook users to use JioMeet! That is one way of getting around regulators.
Zoom should not see this as a competition from Jio; it needs to see this as a Facebook flank attack.