As Jio, Reliance's new 4G service gears up for an official launch, its current free availability in the market for almost all smartphones is seeing massive queues.
As Jio, Reliance’s new 4G service gears up for an official launch, its current free availability in the market for almost all smartphones is seeing massive queues. People are reported to have gathered, forming huge crowds to get their hands on the free SIM card. Earlier Reliance had expanded its reach by allowing the Jio Preview offer for most smartphones like Samsung, LG, Micromax and YU. Most the stores, where the Jio SIM cards, are available for eligible smartphones for free of cost, customers have had to wait a very long time. Most of them get a ‘no stock’ notice handed over to them. Even id one gets a SIM “free” or after paying for a new phone, JioFi, a compatible Wi-Fi router it may take at least 4 to 5 days before their SIM card is activated and you can use it
The Jio SIM is freely available as Reliance is not yet done with the network testing, but the users will need to submit their KYC documents to acquire the card. All the Jio SIM cards come with accessories like JioOnDemand and JioBeats. Though the ‘network testing’ tactic for distribution of free SIM cards has not been taken kindly by the incumbent telecom operators. Network Carriers like Airtel and Idea have accused Reliance of falsely claiming this phase to be a testing period. They have said that this is Reliance’s excuse for distributing free services. They believe that this has poached the customer and deprived the government of its share of revenue.
The Reliance Industries, on the success of this “experiment”, would likely have changed the direction of Indian Telecom market with low-priced offerings. While calling services in India are one of the cheapest services, its 3G/4G connections can cost one a fortune. Merely 1GB of data is currently sold at Rs 250 by the most used Airtel and Vodafone. Though 3G and the 4G services are being made available at the same price by the carriers such as Airtel, Vodafone and Idea. BSNL has also cut down its data price, making unlimited 3G data available at only Rs 1,099. Even Airtel has slashed its tariff rates and said that it would result up to 80% savings for customers. It is reported that the new pricing will see 1Gb of data being made available at Rs 51. This amount of data earlier cost Rs 259. There are terms and conditions of course as the user would have to sign up a 12-month package with Rs 1,498 upfront. The offer has only been made available to prepaid customers.
It would be interesting to see what price patterns the Reliance Industries follow when the Jio makes a commercial launch, which is still months away. Though people seem more than happy to enjoy free data for 3 months.