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Re 1 for 1 GB: Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio gets tough competitor in Bengaluru start-up

FE Online

A Bengaluru based start-up could emerge as a tough competition for Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Jio with the former offering 1 GB data for as low as Re 1. Incepted in 2016, the same year as Jio launched its services, WiFi Dabba aims to provide "reliable and affordable service" and fix connectivity issues. "When we started ... we believed the key issue was in last mile connectivity and pricing. So, we worked as ISP aggregators, buying connections from players who use fibre technology," Karam Lakshman, CEO, WiFi Dabba, told The Indian Express.

While Jio brought data revolution in the country with cheap internet prices and even when data prices in the country are the cheapest globally, they are still quite high for many users with data remaining elusive to many. WiFi Dabba realised the issue which was with the fibre and came up with a solution called supernodes. "We realised that fibre is the key issue so worked on developing a solution for the middle mile — supernodes," The Indian Express reported Karam Lakshman as saying. 

Why is the internet cost high for others?

The cost of providing and accessing the internet remains high because of the third-party hardware, software and networking infrastructure. Moreover, the companies also have to bear the cost of digging trenches to lay fibre optic which further pushes up the cost. However, WiFi Dabba is able to save cost as it does not deploy third-party hardware, software or infrastructure. The start-up has its own proprietary hardware, software and networking and the same helps the company to save on vendor margins. "The cost saving is so high we are able to offer Gigabit internet at the price of solving a Captcha Code puzzle," Karam Lakshman said. 

Who can use WiFi Dabba's services?

While WiFi Dabba is yet to launch its services in India, the company plans to roll-out first in Bengaluru and then across cities in the country depending on the demand. "Any user can connect to the WiFi Dabba signal and login with their Mobile Number and OTP," Karam Lakshman said.