At the 42nd annual general meeting (AGM) today, Reliance Industries (RIL) chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani finally announced the launch of the much-awaited Reliance Jio. The commercial launch is slated for September 5, and new customers will get unlimited usage till the end of this year. Ambani also revealed the Jio tariff plans today, with prices starting from Rs 50 for 1GB of data. As analysts expected, we could be on the verge of witnessing a data tariff war between Jio and incumbent network operators.
Instead of giving customers hundreds of plans to choose from, there are only 10 tariff plans priced between Rs 19 for a day to Rs 5,000 a month. Ambani also announced that Jio users will never have to pay for voice calls or SMS messages, and won’t incur national roaming charges either. Additionally, users will also get access to Jio’s suite of apps, including JioPlay, JioOnDemand, JioBeats, JioXpressNews, JioSecurity, JioDrive, JioMags and JioMoney among others. New Jio customers will get complimentary unlimited access till the end of this year, while Jio Preview offer users will get to enjoy the subscription of Jio Apps till the end of December 2017. However, only the subscription to the apps is free and data consumed would be debited from the plan.
Now let’s look at the tariff plans in detail. The cheapest plan starts from Rs 149 per month, which offers free voice calls, 0.3GB of data, unlimited access to Jio apps, and 100 SMS. The Rs 499 per month plan offers free voice calls, SMS messages, access to Jio’s apps and 4GB data per month along with free unlimited data at night. Similarly, the Rs 999, Rs 1,499, Rs 2,499, Rs 3,999 and Rs 4,999 plans offer 10GB, 20GB, 35GB, 60GB and 75GB of data respectively per month. The free unlimited night internet usage is applicable from 2AM to 5AM.
The tariff plans also include access to JioNet Wi-Fi hotspots, and the company plans to have a million such hotspots by next year. Rs 999 plan offers 8GB of Wi-Fi data, while the Rs 1,499, Rs 2,499, Rs 3,999 and Rs 4,999 plans offer 20GB, 40GB, 70GB, 120GB and 150GB of data respectively. Ambani also revealed plans with validity of less than a month, which have prices starting from as low as Rs 19 and going up to Rs 299. The Rs 19 plan offers 0.1GB of data, and 0.2GB of Wi-Fi hotspot data for a day. The Rs 199 plan offers 0.75GB of data, and 1.5GB of Wi-Fi hotspot data for seven days, and lastly, the Rs 299 plan offers 2GB of data, and 4GB of Wi-Fi hotspot data for a period of 21 days.
The ripples of Jio’s imminent entry has been felt by rival network operators for quite some time now. The likes of Vodafone, Airtel and Idea Cellular recently started offering up to 67 percent more data on their existing prepaid and postpaid plans. Airtel also started offering free voice calls with select postpaid plans. Needless to say, this is only the beginning, and at the end of the day this war will only benefit us consumers. India is already is among the few countries that offer voice calls at low rates, and pretty soon we could start enjoying mobile data at lower prices as well.
Reliance Jio‘s preview offer almost immediately created a buzz by offering users with unlimited high-speed mobile data, as well as HD voice calling and messages. Users also got to enjoy unlimited access to Jio’s suite of apps, including JioPlay, JioOnDemand, JioBeats, JioXpressNews, JioSecurity, JioDrive, JioMags and JioMoney among others. What started out as an exclusive offer for buyers of Reliance Digital LYF smartphones, has now expanded to over 200 4G smartphones from 19 companies. The popularity of this preview offer has not only created a buzz on social media, but people have been queuing up outside Reliance Digital stores to get their hands on a free SIM card.