Tomorrow is C-Day for Reliance Jio as the carrier ends its free data
Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm has vowed to offer cheaper tariffs than rival operators when it ends free services to its 100 million subscribers on 31 March, as India’s newest telecom operator seeks to retain users.
Reliance Jio will provide at least 20% more data to users on every tariff plan that its rivals offer, Ambani said on Tuesday, renewing concerns that the bruising price war in the world’s second-largest telecom market by users is unlikely to end soon.
The entry of Reliance Jio, a unit of Reliance Industries Ltd, has already eroded profits of rivals and prompted India’s No. 2 telecom carrier Vodafone India Ltd and Idea Cellular Ltd, the No. 3 operator, to initiate talks to merge their operations.
The telecom major has a user base of 100 million and even if 50 per cent of these users start paying for the data services, Jio will become the largest data provider of the country.
Currently, Bharti Airtel resides on the top position with a combined user base of 37.7 million for its 3G and 4G services.
The new Prime Membership is available at a price of Rs 99 for a year. Once subscribed to the Prime membership, the user will have to recharge with data packs ranging from Rs 149 to Rs 9,999. To woo more customers into buying the Prime membership, Jio is offering users extra data of up to 120 GB, over and above the prescribed data-limit.
The C-Day Effect: See how the other players are reacting to the Reliance Jio
State-run MTNL has joined the tariff war with its latest offer which starts from April 1. The firm will offer 2GB of 3G data per day and unlimited calling within its network for Rs 319.
The plan will remain valid for 28 days after which MTNL customers will have to recharge with same value for availing benefits.
“This promotional offer is valid for 90 days. MTNL customers will also get 25 minutes of free call to other networks every day and after that they will be charged 25 paise for a minute phone call,” the statement said.
On March 23, BSNL too announced a similar offer and that would give 2GB data per day at just Rs 339 a month from April 1.
“To compete with Jio and other private players, we have introduced the cheapest plan with a rental value of Rs 339 per month. Under this plan, the consumer will get 2GB per day,” said Sanjiv Tyagi, General Manager, BSNL.
All telecom operators in the country are trying to match low tariff that new entrant Reliance Jio will offer from April 1. The lowest value plan from Reliance Jio under its special scheme will offer 1GB of 4G data everyday and unlimited calling throughout the country for Rs 303 a month.
Idea Cellular launched 1GB per day pack for its postpaid customers for Rs 300 to compete with Jio’s Rs 303. Media reports have said that 4G handset users will get 1GB per day while non-4G users will be given 3GB for the month.
The company said that this offer has been discounted for the first three months of subscription wherein subscribers will get to avail of the offer for Rs 50 on base rental plans of Rs 349 to Rs 498.
Vodafone also announced the launch of its 24 GB ‘gift’ data pack to its post-paid subscribers and the users will get the data in a monthly instalment of 8GB over the period of three months.
India’s telecom major Airtel too announced that it would provide 30GB free 4G data for three months.Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd on Friday started offering 10GB data per day packs for Rs 249.