With the number of Reliance Jio users crossing the 72 million mark, both the consumers as well as critics were speculating the fate of on-going free net services that are likely to end by March. However, the latest leaks reveal that Reliance CEO Mukesh Ambani’s team is working on a new tariff plan that’ll allow free Jio services to continue till June 30. If the rumours are true, then Reliance Jio Infocomm users may continue to enjoy free data and voice calling services at nominal rate for another three months.
While the other telecom companies have termed ‘Reliance Jio’ as a predatory offer for their business, further extension on Jio’s free services will make things interesting. Ever since Jio was launched on September 5 last year, all top telcos of India, including Vodafone India, Idea Cellular and Bharti Airtel were forced to trim down the rates of data and voice services to recover the losses incurred due to Reliance Jio. Unfortunately, the latest Jio introductory offer will impose a fee of Rs 100 for free data whereas the voice calling will be free.
The bigger question is why is Reliance bent on extending their free services? Because, they’ve started to make revenue with Jio. It’s a universally known fact that the day Reliance Jio pulls out its free services from the market, the company will lose almost half of its business in the Indian market, considering that other telecom operators are offering better services at comparatively lower rates.
However, if they introduce a nominal charge, they’ll retain their customers and they can finally start charging when the market is good. Initially, Reliance Industries have invested Rs 30,000 crores into Jio’s fast-expanding network. Further, they also invested Rs 1,71,000 crores to continue these services until March.
Till December 31, Reliance Jio had sustained a debt of Rs 49,000 crores. Moreover, they were liable to pay around Rs 21,000 crore to the Centre for spectrum purchase. However, the company is hoping to earn from the share market. In this case, it isn’t surprising as to why they need to retain their customers now. Whatever may be the case, the happy news is that Reliance Jio customers still have happy days ahead. They’ll continue to enjoy free Jio services till June.