Reliance Jio has a new year surprise for its users in the country. The telecom operator has announced to end interconnect usage charges (IUC) for all domestic voice calls. With all we mean voice calls to all other networks including Airtel and Vodafone-Idea. In simple words, all voice calls from a Reliance Jio number to any other network, anywhere in India will be completely free of cost starting New Year. Also Read - Reliance Jio records highest 4G download speeds in Dec 2020: TRAI
All calls to non-Jio voice calls will be free starting January 1, 2021, i.e tomorrow. Currently, only calls to Jio number are free while calls to any non-Jio mobile number are charged at a minimal rate. Also Read - DoT announces auction date for spectrum sale in India; Jio, Airtel, Vi expected to bid
To recall, the IUC was applied on Jio to non-Jio calls back in the year 2019. The free calls is applicable to all prepaid plans including the most popular ones like Rs 129, Rs 149, Rs 199 and Rs 555. Also Read - Airtel vs Jio vs Vodafone Idea: Best prepaid plans offering 3GB daily data
Back in the month of September 2019, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) extended the timeline for implementation of IUC on mobile-to-mobile calls beyond January 1, 2020. Soon after, the operator began charging users for off-net voice calls.
With this move, the telecom operator clearly aims to takes on the likes of other major operators including Bharti Airtel and Vodafone-Idea (now Vi). Both Airtel and Vi offer free voice calls to other networks.
The telecom operator said in an official press release, “as per directions of the Hon’ble Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (“TRAI”), Bill and Keep regime is being implemented in the country from 1st January 2021, thereby ending interconnect usage charges (IUC) for all domestic voice calls.”
“Honouring its commitment to revert off-net domestic voice-call charges to zero, as soon as IUC charges are abolished, Jio will once again make all off-net domestic voice calls free, starting 1st January 2021. On-net domestic voice calls have always been free on the Jio network,” the company further said.
The decision to wave off the voice call charges or IUC comes as a relief for customers.