The word Reliance is all about Dhirubhai Ambani, the powerful business tycoon who built the Reliance Empire from nothing. However, his elder son, Mukesh Ambani, the chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Limited is always persuaded in business. Mukesh’s telecom ambition isn’t just started now; it has its roots deep in the early 2000’s. It isn’t just a business; it was his father’s ambition of making voice calls cheaper that would be affordable to all Indians.
Mukesh renamed the company as Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited and started building fiber optic network across the country.is the only conceived IP-based telecom network in India.
Meanwhile other telecom incumbents were in pressure about Reliance Jio as what business model would Jio implement to attract customers. Nobody would ever forget the man, who created a mobile revolution in India, owing his father’s dream.
Mukesh had invested over Rs 150,000 crore into this project. In the last couple of years, JIO has already spent almost as much as the major incumbent telecom firms, like Bharti Airtel Ltd, Idea Cellular Ltd and Vodafone India Ltd, have spent over the past more than 20 years of being in operations.
Free Voice Calls. Really?
Yes, you can make unlimited calls to any number in India for free! But as per the latest information available on Jio’s official website, you have to subscribe to any of the ten packs to make calls at zero cost. If you don’t recharge with any of the available packages, then you would be charged at 2 paise/sec for voice calls as per the base plan rate, which is similar to what other operators are charging nowadays.
Interestingly, as Jio uses VoLTE for calls but the users who do not have VoLTE enabled smartphones can use Jio 4G voice app ‘Jio Join’ to make free voice calls. Thankfully, you wouldn’t be charged for any data used for VoLTE calls made on Jio Join app or through device’s VoLTE. For enjoying these free voice calls, you would be required to subscribe to a dedicated tariff plan.
Hold on, Video Calls Aren’t Free!
Yes, you read that right. Unlike the voice calls, video calls on Jio won’t be free. If you would recharge with Jio’sthen you can enjoy free voice calls. However, for these video calls, you have to pay the data cost, which will be deducted from your data balance. The base tariff for Video Calling is 5paise/second.
Jio is not really giving Rs 50/GB of data:
One of the biggest claims made yesterday by Mukesh Ambani was that Jio would offer the cheapest data tariffs in the world at Rs 50/GB. However, none of the plans that were revealed yesterday on stage showed that was the case. In the tariff plans submitted to TRAI, Jio has revealed that the Rs 50/GB rate would only be applicable for JioNet Wi-Fi service, after the user exhausts the data on the plan. Jio users have to pay 0.25p/10KB which means Rs 250/GB for accessing the internet after they exhaust their initial data limit of the plan voucher. Pay as you go customers who do not recharge with any of the plan vouchers would be charged 0.5p/10KB for accessing data.
(I) 1Gb 4G Data@Rs50: While Mr. Mukesh Ambani did announce this figure. He forgot to mention that it is available only on “Public Hotpsots” (Read 4th point). As per data given on Jio’s Official website. 1Gb of 4G will cost you Rs 150 (as an add on package) and ~Rs 125/Gb, if you take the bundled plans
(II) Unlimited Night Data: While nothing is mentioned in the T&C’s regarding this, the time window of this night data is very small. This is valid only between 2Am to 5Am. Which is just a window of 3Hrs, while “YAY” to all hostellers. Not everyone will benefit from this, except Reliance, because well “Reliance Jio Gives Unlimited Data at night MAHN!.”
(III) Unlimited Data till 31/12/16: Yeah, Not Happening. You’ll be getting just 4Gb/Day, after which speeds will throttle to a mere 168Kbps. While this might not be a problem for new subscribers, it is, definitely a problem for “Jio preview offer” users. Darn! No more 100Gb/day targets. Yeah, all preview offer users will be shifted to the new plan effective Monday.
(IV) Wifi Data: “So, they’ll give me extra data if i use it as Wifi Hotspot”. Yeah, Not happening. While, you will get the extra data, but it is valid only on “Reliance Public Hotspots” i.e. places where Reliance is providing public wifi. While they claim to setup 1.1M hotspots, I dont think it is of any convenience for people who don’t live/work/study near a hotspot.
Jio is cheap to consumer because
- It is free right now.
- Jio do not have to maintain a legacy network its overall operation cost or Opex will be low but it has highest ever Capital Expenditure or Capex( around 21 billion dollar).
- Jio is going after customer aquisition the same way as Flipkart/Amazon/Sanpdeal do. Once you have habbit of inline shopping you wl not go(least go) for offline or store shopping. Once Jio have sizeable no. of customer, the volume of scale wl keep the cost down.
- The future of Jio cheap services will surely depend how tough competition is from Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, BSNL, etc. If these old operators fight well, Jio will remain Cheap and even go more Cheaper.
After years of waiting, Reliance Jio has finally begun the commercial roll out of its 4G VoLTE services in India. The telecom operator had started testing the network back in December, and expanded it to end users with its insanely popular Jio Preview Offer. Under the preview offer, users who owned the LYF branded smartphones got free and unlimited access to Jio’s suite of services including voice call, high speed 4G data, Wi-Fi calling and several other bundled plan.
Voice calls are free: The biggest news of the day is all domestic voice calls including those made to other operators would be free. Users won’t even have to bother about roaming within the country, as per the ‘One India‘ motive.
Reliance Jio Tariff plans: As expected from Reliance, the company has announced some aggressive tariff plans. Ambani in his address had said that subscribers need to pay for one service. The vision reflects in Jio’s tariff plans as well. So, users just need to pay one price for Jio services that will include data and voice as well. Jio is offering 1GB of 4G data for Rs 50 depending on your plan, which is way lesser than other carriers. Jio claims that these would be the lowest 4G LTE prices in the world. In total, Jio has 10 plans priced between Rs 150 a month to Rs 5,000 a month. Prices for data start from 5p/MB or Rs 50/GB. There will also be plans that offer data at Rs 19/day for occasional users. What’s more, users will get unlimited data usage at night, which won’t count against their data plan.
Student plans: Targeting India’s big demographics of youth, Reliance has introduced a special offer for students. Users with valid student ID cards will get 25 percent extra data on every tariff plan. The scheme is certainly going to woo youth considering Reliance Jio is already offering ultra affordable data plans. In comparison, other telecom players do offer schemes targeted at students with under Rs 50 data and voice packs.
Digital verification, activation: Pointing out cumbersome process of verification, Ambani said that it currently takes about 24 hours to get the new connection active. But with Jio services, users can get their numbers activated within 15 minutes. Jio has implemented an e-KYC system, which allows users with Aadhar cards to get their SIM cards instantly.
The Evil Side of Jio Commercial Data Plan.
1. “Unlimited at Night” pertains to data used between 2AM – 5AM.
2. Wi-Fi data benefits in the plans pertain to Wi-Fi data availed in the Public Wi-Fi hotspots of JioNEt
3. The data used by the consumers for Jio applications, Video calls and other content available on internet would be uniformly debited against plan data allocation.
4. Unutilized free benefits will be forfeited at the end of validity.
5. The prepaid packs with denominations Rs.19, Rs.129 and Rs.299 cannot be availed as a First recharge by new subscribers.
6. 25% additional 4G WiFi data (can be used only through public Jio Hotspot) benefits will be provided to students on providing a valid identity card, as per process.
7. There is a 49 rs top up for availing call conference ( min 4 people max 9 people )
8. The above plans can only be availed by customers possessing a LTE compatible handset.
9. One person can avail one sim of jio only , same handset cannot be used for availing two sims. “
Reliance Jio Free Unlimited 4G Internet after 3 months
- Reliance Jio will offer its SIM & activate it over a voice call even for non-Lyf handset owners, though they have a select group of “partners” whose select handset models they have tested over Jio network. But, Jio claims to offer HD Quality Voice calls, but there’s a catch here. Currently, and in the foreseeable future, only Jio network will be fully 4G-VoLTE enabled, so calls within Jio network alone can be of HD Quality. Calls from Jio to non-Jio network will automatically get scaled down to regular 3G/2G quality, as the other operator may not be 4G compliant.
- Though Jio is generously offering its SIM for free for the trial period upto 31-Dec-2016, one has to buy a 4G-VoLTE handset to truly benefit from its tech. Most good handsets (with min 2Gb RAM and 16Gb memory) cost around Rs 9K or more. So, this will restrict subscriber volumes, unless, going forward, Jio sells its own private label Lyf branded handsets for much cheaper than they are now – for the specs as above.
- Jio is likely to get a few million to opt for its SIM and use its network only as a second phone / connection for now, as there are serious interconnect issues with other operators – something Mukesh Ambani too mentioned in his speech at the AGM. Other TSPs aren’t going to be generous, and will try their best to stop mass exodus from their own network to Jio, by creating such hurdles for Jio. This may turn out to be a long drawn out war between Jio and other TSPs as COAI, their umbrella body (of which Jio too is a member, incidentally), has raised objections to Jio’s Tariff Plans – esp. free calls to other networks too
- Though Jio is offering its bouquet of 12 odd Apps under MyJio App collection, there is every reason to believe that they will start charging for each of them post trial period. By the end of the trial period they would have enough information on App usage to know which ones are highest in use and they will tend to monetize it as best as they can. So, nothing is going to remain “Free” on Jio post trial period.
- Jio will use the trial period to entice customers from other operators, many of whom would have invested in a new 4G-VoLTE handset just to avail of Jio’s HD Quality Voice / Video Calls. So, at the end of the trial period such customers are unlikely to discontinue using Jio, and revert to their old operators. So, things will be clear only after the “honeymoon period” which will end on 31-Dec-2016.
- Reliance Jio is not a philanthropic organization to give its services Free perpetually, as they have invested over $20 billion in their Jio ecosystem. Sooner or later they are bound to monetize on their services, after carefully analysing usage of their services during the trial period until December 2016. Hence, I would caution all those euphoric about this Jio launch to tread carefully, and consider all pitfalls as I have mentioned above, or what is revealed in public domain elsewhere, and take an informed decision. Good luck !