During Reliance Jio 4G tariff announcement today, Mukesh Ambani’s speech sounded much like a death-knell for other telecom operators in the country. The Reliance Industries chairman signalled he is getting into the business, not to compete but disrupt, even destroy, all existing concepts of telecommunication and mobile broadband business in India. It is not only the ultra low Jio data prices but the announcement of free voice calls across the country by Ambani which would have hit the competitors, who have been trying hard to catch up with the Jio threat over the last few months, hard.
Voice call tariffs contribute about 70% of the revenue of telecom operators at present. By making it free on the Jio network and announcing data rates as low as Rs 50/GB, Ambani has set in motion a digital revolution in the country – the competitors can either catch-up or just perish. The Jio 4G data services, which Ambani claimed to be cheapest in the world, will also help in taking the country closer to the dream of ‘Digital India’.
Till now the biggest impediment in the path of a ‘Digital India’ was high-cost data plans offered by telecom operators. Being a poor country, most of India has been living in a ‘digital dark age’, even as the country has taken its footprint as far as the Mars. India badly needed low-cost data services so that even the poorest of the poor can access the internet and be a part of the slowly unfolding digital age across the world.
As per the Reliance Jio 4G tariff announced today, the company is not only offering low-cost high-speed 4G data services but to ensure that everyone is able to access it, the company has launched LYF phones prices as low as Rs 2999. Not only this, it has announced to provide 25% more data to any student with a valid ID card.
Indeed, Reliance Jio 4G comes late yet in time for the country. It will force other companies to mend their ways, lower data tariffs, improve network for India is silently moving forward on a mission mode to “collectively achieve” in the next 20 years what it couldn’t in the last 300. In words of Ambani, those who would join this change process will survive, the rest will become irrelevant.