Reliance’s second appearance in telecom was constantly estimated to be unruly, but chairman Mukesh Ambani still managed to somehow amaze his customers and opponents alike on Thursday with a revelation that Reliance Jio would propose free voice calls and dirt-cheap 4G data services on its network.
The statement could be the table turn over phase for voice tariffs and might prove a game changer for the industry. “The era of paying for voice calls is ending,” Ambani told shareholders at the AGM of Reliance Industries. “From September 5, India will change forever,” he said, announcing the date of Jio’s formal launch.
Jio’s data packages are priced at almost one-fifth of what is charged by the already existing mobile operators. “We Indians have come to appreciate and applaud Gandhigiri. Now we can all do datagiri, which is an opportunity for every Indian to do unlimited good things with unlimited data,” Ambani said.
Jio Data plans way ahead of its Competitors
Jio’s tariff plans, spread across 10 main schemes, guarantee data prices as low as Rs 50 per GB against the average Rs 250 per GB charged by the counterparts today. The RIL chief also added that the price could go down to as low as Rs 25 for those who would use it significantly.
“We have price points starting from Rs 19 for the occasional data user, to a monthly Rs 149 plan for the light data user, all the way up to a monthly Rs 4,999 plan for the heaviest data user. I believe that these are the absolute lowest data rates anywhere in the world,” he said.
Roaming charges would also be abandoned on the network, Ambani said, adding that porting into Jio can begin with the launch of commercial services.
The pooled market value of Airtel and Idea lurched by around Rs 13,000 crore during the 45-minute speech. However, RIL also fell nearly 3% due to apprehensions about implementation risks and preliminary losses.