Reliance Jio welcome offer of free voice calls and data on its recently-launched Jio mobile phone services will be available till December 31 only for those users who will buy subscription by December 3. Reliance Jio has confirmed that the Welcome Offer will end on December 3. But it adds that those who already enroll with Reliance Jio Welcome Offer will continue to get free unlimited data and free unlimited calls until December 31. Those who want to join the Jio network after December will have to subscribe to a commercial plan.
Reliance Jio Welcome offer beginning from September 5. The sector regulator TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) in an order said as per regulations the free services by Jio will be limited to 90 days, which ends on December 3. “The revised offer of free services by Reliance Jio has been limited to 90 days which is December 3, 2016 and therefore is consistent with the guidelines on promotional offers,” TRAI said in an order.
Spokesperson of Jio confirmed that the Reliance Jio Welcome Offer (JWO) “benefits of free unlimited Voice and data will be available to all subscribers up to December 31, 2016.” But, the “JWO will be available to new consumers for subscription till December 3, 2016,” the spokesperson said.
He said consumers who have not subscribed for services till December 3 will be able to subscribe to new offers as well as tariff plans that are available from Jio. “Jio will continue offering consumer friendly plans to enhance Data and voice experience of all consumers,” he added.
Mr. Mukesh Ambani, while announcing the launch on September 1 had said that voice calling on Jio will be free for life and data would be charged at rock-bottom rates after the welcome offer ends. After the TRAI order, the company did not indicate the tariffs to be charged to users taking services after December 3.
This means that if you are an existing Jio customer, you will continue to enjoy the free unlimited voice and data offer available on your number till December 31. The change only affects those who subscribe to Jio services after December 3, 2016. New customers after the said date shifted to new data plans which the company will launch in future
Fearing from the popularity created by Jio, other telecom operators like Airtel, Vodafone and Idea had requested TRAI to look into its validity, accusing Reliance of predatory pricing — Jio services are free for now — and unfair competition. TRAI, however, has found that the Jio services and the company’s Welcome Plan are totally fair and legal.
However, it does agree with the premise that the Welcome Offer cannot be extended beyond 90 days. They had also complained that given the free data offer, a “tsunami” of “asymmetric” traffic originating from Reliance Jio network was coming to their networks, leading to an increased number of call drops.
The regulator said the submissions made have been examined and “it is found that the tariff plans filed with TRAI cannot be considered as IUC non-complaint, predatory and discriminatory, at present”.
It added that the Authority would continue to keep a close watch on the tariffs being offered in the market by all players, including Reliance Jio.
The order also offers some respite to current market leaders like Airtel and Vodafone. Currently, they can’t match Jio in terms of price because Jio is free. But once Jio’s commercial operations start, they may be able to compete better.