Reliance Jio launches new recharge plans to retain customers, arrest fall in phone sales

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Published: October 26, 2019 12:30 AM

For postpaid users, the charge for such calls will be adjusted in monthly bills.

For postpaid users, the charge for such calls will be adjusted in monthly bills.

In a bid to stop customers from porting out of the Reliance Jio network, and for arresting the fall in JioPhone sales, the telco on Friday announced a new set of recharge plans for its customers. In addition to the existing recharge plans of Rs 49, Rs 99, Rs 153 with a validity of 28 days and Rs 297 with a validity of 84 days, Jio announced four new plans, all with validity for 28 days. These plans are available at Rs 75, Rs 125, Rs 155 and Rs 185.

The difference in the existing and the new plans is that while customers will have to buy top-up IUC vouchers with older plans, the new ones are all-inclusive with free IUC minutes and extra data.

According to Counterpoint Research data, Reliance Jio’s 4G feature phone lost the top spot in the Indian market to Samsung during the July-September quarter of the 2019 calendar year, FE reported on Friday. Samsung now controls 22% market share in the feature phone segment, followed by Itel and Lava (16% each), Nokia (12%) and Karbonn (7%). JioPhone’s share in the quarter under review plummeted to 4%. Since its launch in August 2017, it has sold around 70 million units.

Earlier this week, Jio came out with four new tariff plans. These plans are in the range of Rs 222, Rs 333, Rs 444 and Rs 555, valid for 28 days, 56 days and 84 days (for the last two), respectively. The highlight of these plans is that the charge of 6 paise per minute for calls made to other networks is also bundled in so that subscribers do not have to go for top-ups to make such voice calls.

According to Jio, its bundled plans like other such plans announced on Monday are cheaper compared to competition in terms of offerings of offnet minutes and data. The company said the new tariff plans come with 500 minutes of free offnet termination charge minutes, while in the existing plans top-ups have to be purchased. These plans offer 3 GB, 14 GB, 28 GB and 56 GB per month.

While announcing on October 9 its decision to charge for the termination rate for calls made to other networks, Jio had come out with IUC top-up vouchers in four denominations — Rs 10, 20, 50, and 100 which would entitle users with free data of 1, 2, 5, and 10 GB, respectively. For postpaid users, the charge for such calls will be adjusted in monthly bills.

Jio has scrapped two lower denomination plans – Rs 19 and Rs 52 – making Rs 98 plan its lowest recharge plan. Ever since the company made the announcement of charging the termination rate from consumers, there has been a backlash from subscribers on the social media. During the launch in 2016, the company had said it would never charge for voice calls.

In new JioPhone plans, the emphasis seems to be on giving more data in high-value recharges. For instance, a Rs 65 plan of competition offers 233 minutes and 200 MB of monthly data while Jio’s Rs 75 plan is offering 500 offnet minutes along with 3GB data. In another plan of Rs 245 by competition, a consumer gets 816 minutes and 2 GB of monthly data, while Jio is offering 56 GB data and 500 offenet minutes at Rs 185.

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