Reliance Jio has been providing its 4G services for free ever since its official launch in September last year. Now it is being reported that Jio might offer its 4G data services at a discounted rate of just Rs. 100 post the expiry of its ‘Happy New Year Offer’ till 30 June 2017.
It is worth noting Jio is offering its services free so that the mobile users in India can get to try them before paying for them. This is a smart tactic to gain new subscribers who might convert to profitable customers.
However, things have been not going right with Jio’s plan as its network faced major call failures, slow internet speed, and congestion at times, so many users are now skeptic about using Jio as their primary connection. Most of the Jio subscribers are enjoying the free services as a cheap broadband alternative and are not willing to port their primary number to Jio due to unreliability of its network.
Keeping that in mind, Reliance Jio is planning to offer its 4G data services at a nominal rate of Rs. 100 while extending the benefits of unlimited voice calling for another 90 days starting 1 April 2017.
“The relatively low tariff of Jio is the opportunity also to further fine-tune their network itself because there are gaps, there are issues in network-optimization,” Mahesh Uppal, Director of telecom consultancy firm Com First.
Reliance Jio not only needs to start making some revenue, but needs to comply with the norms that restrict it from offering its services for free beyond a period of 90 days. The incumbents have termed Reliance Jio’s free offers as “predatory” so this new plan will help the new entrant stay clear of any allegations.
Jio’s Story So Far
Due to its free offers and attractive benefits under its “Jio Welcome Offer” and “Happy New Year Offer”, Reliance Jio has been able to garner a subscriber base of 72.4 Million in just 4 months of its operations beating the records of Facebook, WhatsApp, and the like.
Jio is also the only telecom operator that offers Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) over its largest 4G network in the country. Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), the parent company of Jio has invested a total of Rs. 1,71,000 crores into Jio. Recently Mukesh Ambani, RIL Chairman, also announced an additional investment of Rs. 30,000 crores into Jio for improving its network coverage and infrastructure.
Jio started the telecom tariff war in India, but the incumbents are trying their best to match it. Jio’s biggest USP is its unlimited voice calling and competitively priced 4G data packs, but Vodafone India has already launched its 4G data packs offering 4x data starting at 4 GB per Rs. 250.
So, Jio will anyway need to revise its tariff plans before it starts charging for its services, at regular rates. While this pricing might be bad for the telecom industry as a whole as it is eroding the profit margin for all operators, consumers have all the reasons to rejoice and enjoy wireless broadband services at never before prices, in the near short-term.