Telecom regulator TRAI today said it will examine Reliance Jio’s latest offer providing free 4G services for all its customers till March 31, 2017. “We will look into it. Every tariff that is filed before us is examined. We will come up with our response at appropriate time,” TRAI chairman R S Sharma told PTI when asked about validity of Jio’s offer.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had earlier allowed Jio to provide free service till the end of this year for customers who subscribed to its services till December 3.
Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani announced extension of free domestic voice calls and data till March 31. With over 52 million customers taking Jio’s free voice and data since its launch on September 4, he announced ‘Jio Happy New Year Offer’ of free data, voice, video and applications till March 31 for new users joining from December 4 as well as the existing ones. However, the plan will come with a Fair Usage Policy (FUP) which will cap data for Reliance Jio customers at around 1 GB per day.
It should be noted that earlier TRAI had ordered that Reliance Jio’s Welcome Offer had to end at December 4, which would be three months after the launch of service. Reliance had promised customers it would not end the free services before December 31 as was stated at the time of launch, but now this is being extended.
“Jio has signed-up over 6 lakh customers every single day for the past three months. Thanks to the Government of India and TRAI, we were able to fast-track Aadhaar-based eKYC roll-out nationally. This allowed SIM activation in under 5 minutes. This is the best experience for activating customers anywhere in the world. Today, Jio has successfully rolled out eKYC across 2 lakh outlets in India. To put this in perspective, this is nearly equal to the total number of ATMs in India. We are in the process of doubling this network, to 4 Lakh digitally enabled outlets, by March of 2017,” said Ambani during this speech.
However, the free data and voice-calling offer has not gone down too well with other telecos. Players like Airtel and Vodafone have been offering extra data, and voice call minutes to their customers as they seek to retain them.