Jio Prime membership that gave additional data, calling, and app benefits will end on March 31. What lies next for the customers?
Reliance Jio has had a phenomenal year since it commercialised its telecom services in India. The telecom upstart disrupted the telecom sector, forcing the incumbents such as Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, and BSNL to dole out more than what they had been offering their tariff plans. The pressure was so intense that many incumbents termed the situation ‘bleeding’ for the industry. Reliance Jio said last year that the extra data and calling benefits will be entitled to the Jio Prime subscribers, as opposed to the regular Jio network users. The Jio Prime subscription cost Rs 99 for a year, which is now nearing its end on March 31.
The Jio Prime subscription gave away additional data and free access to Jio apps under the same tariff plans as for the regular customers who would otherwise get fewer data. Now that the Jio Prime subscription data is about to get over, what lies ahead for the customers who paid Rs 99 almost a year back?
The company hasn’t divulged any details on what it has planned for Jio Prime subscription that has been coveted by many customers in India. Back in 2016, the three-month free services that started in September were due to get over by December, after which the customers were supposed to buy the Jio Prime membership at Rs 99. However, since there weren’t sufficient Jio Prime subscribers at the end of the free services, which led to the extension of free services for another three months – until March 31, 2017.
That said, many Jio users were still able to use the Internet and make calls beyond the deadline – but the Jio Prime subscription purchase was inevitable. No matter how late these customers purchased the Jio Prime subscription, the deadline for all the users was still March 31, 2018. Jio reported over 160 million subscribers in December last year, out of which about 80 percent were Jio Prime members.
Now, the big question that lies here is whether Mukesh Ambani’s company would sustain this user base while taking a further plunge to gather more customers with the help of offers and tariff plans that have so far been extremely fruitful for the company. It is likely that Jio might come out with another offer before the end of the Jio Prime subscription.
While it is not clear what offer would that be, but going by the track record of Reliance Jio, the Jio Prime subscription could be further extended with the same fee of Rs 99 for a year. Not only this seems logical, but also opens the subscription for the non-Prime members on the Jio network.
In addition to this, it is also likely that Jio will renew its tariff plans that are already claimed to be benefiting the Jio Prime customers with 50 per cent more data at Rs 50 lower price.