Zoom gets its Indian Version, Ambani launches JioMeet-Video conferencing platform.July 03, 2020 19:13
(Image source from: vtvgujarati.com)
India’s Reliance Jio Platforms, which recently raised a 15.2 billion dollar from 11 investors in 11 weeks, is ready to enter a new business: Video conferencing.Intel said on Friday it will invest 253.5 million dollars in Jio Platforms, joining a roster of high-profile investors including Facebook and Silver Lake that have backed India’s top telecom operator in recent months.
Reliance Jio is owned by the richest man in India and 9th richest man in the entire world, Mukesh Ambani. On Thursday evening the Jio platforms announced and formally launched their new venture JioMeet which is a video-conferencing platform and looks very similar to Zoom.
At the time when most of the world is working from home and attending meeting through Video conferencing the only platform which theworld could lean on was Zoom, which is video conferencing app and platform based in China. It’s very interesting that Jio launched its JioMeet at the time when India has banned 59 Chinese apps and the many other countries around the world are more likely to be doing the same. The announcement also comes during the time when India is vulnerable and is promoting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s self-reliant movement or the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ movement.
What is JioMeet?
Just like Google Meet and Zoon, JioMeet offers unlimited number of free calls in High Definition to users of the platforms and also supports a total of 100 participants on call. But there is an added feature in JioMeet, which unlike Zoom and Google meet does not have short time calls. JioMeet offers uninterrupted 24 hour calls for free to its users.
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. Jio came to India and changed the entire telecommunication world and it is safe to say that it dominated it as well.
There are no codes or invites needed for the call to begin. For those who are joining from the desktop version of the app, click on JioMeet invite link and join from your browser without downloading application.
The video conferencing platform can also be accessed through Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox for users working on desktop apart from Android and iOS phones. It is absolutely free of cost
Other features of the app include scheduling meetings, sharing screens with each other and more
Jio Platforms, which began beta testing JioMeet in May this year, said the video conferencing service offers “enterprise-grade” host controls. These include: password protection on each call, multi-device login support (up to five devices), and ability to share screen and collaborate.
Other features include the ability to switch “seemingly” from one device to another, and a ‘Safe Driving Mode’ for when a participant is in commute. Hosts can also enable a ‘waiting room’ to ensure participants have to ask for permission to enter a call.
The company did not provide any more details, including whether people outside of India could use the service.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in April had warned the Zoom app users that the video-conferencing application is not safe for usage. On its website, JioMeet claims all the meetings are “encrypted” but does not elaborate whether these calls are end-to-end encrypted.
The launch of JioMeet today comes as tens of millions of people in India are working from home and using video conferencing services for work and to stay in touch with friends.
Zoom, currently the most popular video conference service in India, on Android had about 35 million monthly active users in the third week of June which had only 4 million users in the month of March.
Earlier this year, Jio executives had described JioMeet as a platform that they think would someday have features to enable doctors to consult their patients, prescribe them medicine, and have a system in place to let them buy medicines online and get test results digitally. Similarly, they said JioMeet will allow teachers to host virtual classrooms for their students, with the ability to record sessions, assign and accept homework, and conduct tests digitally.
JioPlatforms, which is India’s top telecom operator with about 400 million customers, operates a number of digital services including JioMusic, a music streaming service; JioCinema, which offers thousands of TV shows and movies; and JioTV, which allows users to watch more than 500 TV channels. All of these services are available at no additional charge to Jio Platforms subscribers. It costs less than $2 a month to be a Jio subscriber.
By Deepika Agarwal