Reliance Jio is undoubtedly the fastest growing startup and telecom operator in India. It has managed to reach the 100 million subscribers base milestone within 170 days. That’s a little under 6 months of operation. It’s not a well-guarded secret that mobile data in India comes at a price. It’s Reliance Jio that’s managed to make it affordable for everyone. India got use to free internet with Jio. Also Read - Jio maintains lead in 4G download speed, Vi in upload in May: TRAIAlso Read - Airtel launches new Rs 456 prepaid plan: Check data, validity, call and other benefits
But all of that was scheduled to change when the free offer by Reliance was to end this March 31. The company has announced Jio Prime membership which brings certain data benefits compared to the usual plan. For instance, the Rs 303 plan with a validity of 28 days offers 1GB of 4G data per day, as highlighted by Reliance Chairman and MD Mukesh Ambani during his speech. But as good as it sounds, it comes with a catch. ALSO READ: 5 Reliance Jio milestones Mukesh Ambani revealed at his 100 million subscribers announcement Also Read - Jio Freedom Plans 2021: Jio launches 5 new prepaid plans with no daily data limit - check details
Jio Prime membership
The Jio Prime membership is slightly different from the existing Happy New Year offer that ends this month. Jio users can sign up for the membership by paying Rs 99 to continue with existing benefits of 1GB high-speed 4G data per day. Once enrolled, customers need to recharge their accounts with a minimum Rs 149, which offers 2GB of 4G data for a period of 28 days. In addition, Reliance Jio is offering users with free access to its suite of apps such as JioTV to watch live TV on the go, JioCinema – an on-demand movie streaming service, JioMusic – a music streaming service and JioCloud – a cloud storage service among others. However, on speaking to the users I know, and from what I gather from social media, a lot of users believe that the Rs 303 plan and Rs 499 plan offer 28GB and 56GB of data, respectively. Reality doesn’t paint as rosy a picture though. ALSO READ: Reliance Jio Prime: Data plans, how to subscribe, fine print and everything else you need to know
The fine print of the Jio Prime Rs 303 and Rs 499 plans
Both plans offer unlimited data. But speeds get throttled after a certain limit. In the case of the Rs 303 plan, you get 1GB of high-speed 4G data each day. Once you cross this limit, speeds are throttled down to 128Kbps till midnight. Post 12AM, speeds get restored. For those thinking you ll be getting to download 28GB, it may not always be possible. Here’s why.
Let’s assume, you’re the perfect data hog. You might be able to lap up all the data allowance for the day. But there would be days, you’d not be able to hit 1GB. You might be done at around 300 or 700MB. Similarly, in case of the Rs 499 plan, the 2GB data limit per day may not get entirely utilized. Yes, some days are a bit dull. Others hectic with travel. Which also means that by the end of the month, your data usage may just end up to a total of 15GB or 35GB on an average, or less.
Just yesterday, Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma was looking for a data plan with 20/30GB allowance and Airtel offered a plan costing Rs 2,999. When Sharma expressed his concerns, Reliance Jio was quick to revert saying why pay Rs 2,999, when you can get 56GB in just Rs 499. And here s exactly where the problem lies. ALSO READ: Reliance Jio Prime membership service available from today; new data plans revealed
When we talk about 28GB or 56GB, I would want a no restriction plan, rather than keeping it restricted. Until Jio entered the telecom space, even 1GB or 3GB data was more than enough, with most of us relying on home or office Wi-Fi for access. However, now that most of us are used to Jio connections for streaming videos, updating apps and using it as a Wi-Fi hotspot, it’s emerging as a contender to be the primary data connection for many.
My usage involves updating apps, few hours on Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp, some video streaming on YouTube, Netflix and Hotstar among others. But these are mostly post work stress busters, and streaming a couple of episodes barely consumes 800MB odd data. During weekends at home, the 1GB and 2GB data limits per day simply don’t work for my binge watching needs. And don’t get me started with good old Windows OS updates. That’s about 3.5GB easily. Waiting a couple of days for an update isn’t really an option for me. And thinking of weekends, there are times I’m just in a mood for a game session rather than watching a movie. Steam (roughly 1.5GB – 2GB), could become a problem with the 1GB/2GB per day restrictions. I reiterate, if you think the Jio Prime plans offer 28GB / 56GB data, you re mistaken. ALSO READ: Reliance Jio Prime members can now get up to 10GB additional data with buy one get one free offer
What are the alternatives
It’s not the end of the road, though. There’s still hope. Thankfully, Reliance Jio has other plans that could serve your purpose. For example, the Rs 999 plan offers 60GB data upfront with a validity of 60 days. It’s worth noting, that this plan doesn’t come with any daily restrictions. So go on, download to your heart’s content! Which means, you can even download 30GB or the entire 60GB of data in a day, provided the speed permits.
Instead of paying Rs 499 for 28 days and having the 2GB per day restrictions, I d rather pay Rs 999 with a validity of 60 days. Come to think of it, it costs me the same. Only with better data benefits. But as always, there are two sides of the coin. For those who use a maximum of 1 to 2GB of data per day, it’s possible to download up to 112GB during a 60-day period, but with restrictions. But for those who prefer downloading larger blocks of data, a bit of daily data compromise remains, but there are no restrictions.
Similarly, there is a Rs 1,999 plan with 90 days validity and 125GB of data bundled along. Also, there’s a Rs 4,999 plan with 180 days validity and 350GB of bundled data, and a mammoth Rs 9,999 plan with 360 days validity and bundled data of 750GB.
As is the case most of the time, the detail is in the fine print. To each his/her own. Let us know what works best for you – the Rs 303 or the Rs 499 plans with daily download limits, or would you prefer the higher plans without daily data restrictions? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
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