After a long wait, repeated delays and months of testing, Reliance Jio has finally announced that it will commence its commercial operations starting September 5. Ahead of the launch, Reliance Jio has been in the news for its 4G Preview Offer, where the company has been offering free SIM cards, unlimited voice calls, messaging and unlimited high-speed data. The company has also been offering users with unlimited access to its app ecosystem to watch live TV, listen to music and online radio, watch on demand movies and more. Now, at the formal announcement, Reliance Industries (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani unveiled disruptive tariff for Reliance Jio services — including unlimited phone calls, data charges of Rs 50/GB and more. We take yet another look at the plans to bring up the fine print that was not announced during the speech. Also Read - Airtel Rs 79 plan vs JioPhone Rs 75 prepaid plan compared: Which offers better value?Also Read - Reliance JioFiber plans with free Voot Select subscription: Check plans, price, and other benefits
Let me start off by reiterating an idiom, “if it is too good to be true, it probably is.” In fact, the word “free” sounds good, but as always, there are many strings attached. The obsession for freebies is exactly where marketers are tapping with their strategies to lure customers. Sure, we have created history, outgoing calls are now free for a lifetime and data download charges are now down to Rs 50/GB, making it the cheapest in the world. But, is it applicable on all plans? What happens after you end up exhausting the 300MB data allowance in Rs 149 pack? Let s take an in-depth look at Reliance Jio tariff plans to look at the fine print. Also Read - JioFiber broadband plans with free Netflix subscription: Check plans, price, data benefits, more
Jio Preview Welcome Offer doesn’t have unlimited data
Starting September 5, users can get Jio SIM card with Welcome Offer where they get unlimited calls, unlimited internet and access to Jio apps. But, here comes the catch it is not virtually unlimited. During the preview offer till December 31 2016, users will get 4GB of high speed data per day, after which, speed will be cut down to 128Kbps.
Jio is not really giving Rs 50/GB of data
One of the biggest claims made yesterday was that Jio would offer the cheapest data tariffs in the world at Rs 50/GB. However, none of the plans that were revealed yesterday on stage showed that was the case. However, in the tariff plans submitted to TRAI, Jio has revealed that the Rs 50/GB rate would only be applicable for JioNet Wi-Fi service, after the user exhausts the data on the plan. There is no word on how much users will have to pay for accessing the internet after they exhaust their 4G LTE limit in case they don’t go for an additional top up.
According to tariff plan details released by Reliance Jio, post exhaustion of bundled 4G LTE data, users will be charged at Rs 250/GB, with 10kb charging pulse. This is still affordable to what existing operators are charging (between 4p/10kb to 10p/10kb, which is Rs 4,000 to Rs 10,000 per GB), but not as per the claims of Rs 50/GB. To avoid those charges, users can opt for add-on top-up data packs available for both prepaid and postpaid subscribers.
These top-ups will come into play after exhausting the data allowance on their existing plans. Users can get add on data packs starting at Rs 151, which gives 1GB of 4G LTE data and 1GB of JioNet Wi-Fi, similarly, there are other top-up packs priced between Rs 251 to Rs 5,000, offering between 2GB to 75GB of 4G LTE data, and the same amount of JioNet Wi-Fi data. In other words, if you do the math, even in top up plans, it is only Rs 50/GB if you add both 4G LTE and Wi-Fi data allowance and that too only for plans that are priced higher. The entry-level top up plans are more expensive that Rs 50/GB. ALSO READ: How Mukesh Ambani s Reliance Jio is cashing in on India s dual-SIM market with data-giri
Unlimited SMS? Not really
Well, here too there is a catch. You do get unlimited free local and national SMS, but there is a cap of 100 SMS / day, which is as per TRAI guidelines. But there is no clarity on what happens after exhaustion of daily SMS limit of 100. Probably, you may have to pay per SMS after that, or wait for the end of the day to reset the counter.
Unlimited Night 4G Data It is a very short night
One of the announcements also included unlimited night data (4G LTE). While one may think that night time would be for some eight hours or more, it is actually applicable only between 2AM to 5AM. While there is no clarity at the moment, it may only be applicable for Jio Suite of apps. This is because, during the speech, Mukesh Ambani did mention that Jio is optimizing its apps to allow users to download music, videos and on demand movies during the night time. ALSO READ: 10 things you should know about Reliance Jio 4G LTE launch and tariff plans
Jio App Suite — Works only on Reliance Jio Network, data is debited from monthly quota
The charges to access Jio Suite of apps are Rs 1,250 per month, or Rs 15,000 a year. However, as an introductory offer, Jio is offering complimentary access until December 31 2017. But, if you look at the fine print, you won’t pay for the subscription but data used while streaming and downloading charges will be debited from your monthly quota of data.
Also, Jio Suite of apps will only work on Reliance Jio 4G LTE or JioNet Wi-Fi network. This also means; you won t be able to access to content while on any other operator s network. So if you have an Airtel Wi-Fi at home, you won’t be able to use these services by logging on to your Wi-Fi network.
Like always, we would advice our users to read the terms and conditions before falling into trap of marketing gimmick, that promises services for free. Remember, there are always a few strings attached, and when you know about the fine print, it can avoid further disappointment.