Reliance Jio, owned by India’s richest businessman Mukesh Ambani has officially launched a free video-conferencing application, JioMeet, to take on the likes of popular services like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet among others.
The launch follows Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for “vocal for local” campaign which pushes industries to curb dependence on other countries, especially China. The launch also follows the recent ban on 59 Chinese applications, including popular short video app TikTok.
Interestingly, JioMeet video-conference mobile app is being compared to the Zoom application for uncanny similarities in terms of features and design.
Various video-conferencing apps like Zoom witnessed rapid adoption as millions of people work from home in India after the nation-wide lockdown due to the outbreak of Covid-19 in India.
Zoom has 35 million monthly active users in the third week of June on its Android application, up from 4 million users in March 2020, TechCrunch reported citing insights firm App Annie.
The Indian government has already issued a warning against the use of Zoom.
JioMeet offers an unlimited number of free calls in high definition (720p) to users and supports up to 100 participants. As per the information available on the official website, a free call can go uninterrupted for up to 24 hours.
JioMeet is available for use through desktop browsers and standalone apps for macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android.
The 4G telecom operator had earlier said that its video-conferencing service is designed to offer enterprise-grade host controls, including password protection on each call, multi-device login support, and ability to share screen and collaborate.
Jio has also claimed that all the meetings on JioMeet are encrypted. “All your meetings are encrypted and password-protected, ensuring complete privacy and data protection,” as per the official website.
The Mukesh Ambani-led telco recently said that its digital healthcare service, eHealth platform, will be integrated with the JioMeet app. The integration will allow users to consult doctors virtually, get prescriptions, order medicines and lab tests online, and enable digital waiting rooms for doctors.
Jio is also integrating its digital education platform with JioMeet to create a virtual classroom for students and teachers.
Jio, India’s top telecom operator with about 400 million customers has its own ecosystem of applications that offer digital content such as music, on-demand video, Live TV. Access to these services is free to all Jio customers in India.
Notably, the Indian government is also developing its own secure videoconferencing platform to offer an alternative to services like Zoom that is being frequently used in the country after the nationwide lockdown.
The development of the videoconferencing solution is in the final leg and is being led by India’s Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT). There will be two versions of the solution – one for courts and government bodies, while the other version will be made available to every Indian citizen.
The videoconferencing platform will come up with features offered by Zoom and Microsoft Teams, and will be hosted on local servers, owned by the Indian government.