Bringing in disruption in the Indian telecom industry, Reliance Industries today announced free voice calls and roaming services for users, while data would be charged at one-tenth of the prevailing market rates.
RIL’s telecom venture, Reliance Jio will offer 10 monthly plans to customers, starting at Rs 149, in a move that the company believes will bring in “data-giri” as demand for data services boom in the country.
Speaking at the Reliance Industries’ 42th Annual General Meeting, Chairman Mukesh Ambani said data must be “affordable”, adding that Jio’s base rate will be one-tenth of the prevailing data rates.
“In our data plans, the effective rates will be Rs 50 per GB…If you use more data, it will go down to Rs 25 per GB,” he said.
Under Rs 149 plan, users will get free voice (local and STD), free roaming and 100 SMS alongwith 0.3 GB of 4G data.
Under the Rs 4,999 plan, users will get 75GB of 4G data as well as unlimited 4G access at night for a period of 28 days. Other plans would be available for Rs 499, Rs 999, Rs 1,499, Rs 2,499, and Rs 3,999. All the plans, excluding the Rs 149 plan, will bundle in free unlimited SMSes.
Under these plans (except Rs 149 plan), subscribers will also have wifi access (with varied amounts of usage) from JioNet Hotspots.
Ambani said existing voice calls are charged at about 65 paise per minute while Jio users would be able to make calls for free.
On the other hand, existing data charges hover around Rs 250 per GB which Jio proposes to bring down to Rs 50 per GB making the tariff the “lowest in the world”.
According to Ambani’s presentation, data rates per GB are around USD 30 in Japan, USD 18 in Korea, USD 15 in China, USD 7.5 in Spain and USD 6 in South Africa.
In India, it is currently at about USD 3.5 which Jio now proposes to bring down further to less than USD 1 (about Rs 67).
Jio users would not face any blackout days such as Diwali and New Year, when operators tend to charge double.
The company would also target enterprise users with 1 Gbps fibre roll out.
Reliance Jio which launched its trial phase a few months back, today announced a “free welcome offer”, starting September 5 under which it will provide free data, voice and video to users till December 31, 2016.
Ambani, India’s richest man, however stopped short of calling January 1 as the commercial launch of Jio that will offer only fourth-generation or 4G services in the world’s second-largest smartphone market.