Battle between Reliance Jio and other GSM operators seems to have heated up as Airtel slashed data tariff for corporate customers, reported ET Now citing sources. An Airtel spokesperson told the channel that the company was now offering bigger data bundles based on usage pattern. “We would like our customers to consume more data,” the spokesperson said. Sources told the channel that data tariff was slashed from Rs 250/GB to Rs 99.5/GB for corporate consumers as they contribute 6-8% of mobility revenues of Airtel. Reliance Jio, which is expected to roll out commercial services in the coming months, is likely to offer huge freebies to get customers. “Airtel is working to retain corporate customers ahead of the launch of Reliance Jio,” said the source. On Wednesday, state-run BSNL announced a national unlimited 3G mobile data plan for Rs 1,099 and doubled the data usage limit in some existing plans. Last month, some telecom operators like Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea hiked data usage limit in some of their plans by up to 67% to counter the threat from Reliance Jio which is offering 90 days free unlimited data and phone call service. Jio has partnered with several handset manufacturers to provide free voice and data services for 90 days to smartphone buyers.
Earlier this week, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) in a letter to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had alleged that free data and voice were being offered by Reliance Jio under beta test, which was generating huge traffic using spectrum allocated for commercial use, but that no revenue came to the government. Within hours, in a no holds barred attack, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio hit out at COAI, of which it is a member, for acting as a mouthpiece of certain dominant incumbent operators having vested interests against the company. The company said as part of being a member of COAI it was not consulted before the letter was sent to the PMO.