Cellular operators’ association(COAI) today expressed relief that newcomer Reliance Jio has announced “price points” for data services post April 1, which although “aggressive” will not bleed the industry.
The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said the pricing along with customer experience determined by a telecom network’s ability to take data traffic load will differentiate the winners from losers going forward.
“They have announced the pricing for the services, which is a good news for the industry, at least they have started charging … Our members will be giving their response but as an industry observer I can say that the industry will be relieved that price points have been announced. They are aggressive but not bad,” COAI Director General Rajan S Mathews told PTI.
Jio has announced that its existing subscribers and new customers who come on board by March 31, 2017, can continue to enjoy unlimited benefits of its ‘Happy New Year Offer’ for one more year (that is March 31, 2018) by paying one-time fee of Rs 99 and Rs 303 a month. “The Rs 99 plus Rs 303 is not a bad price point … if the ARPUs (Average Revenue Per User) can be brought to Rs 300 from the current Rs 180 …,” Mathews said.
In a speech broadcast live on the company’s social media accounts, Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani said Jio users had consumed more than 100 crore GB of data per month on the Jio network, which is more than 3.3 crore GB a day. The Jio carries nearly 5.5 crore hours of video daily on its network.
“The question is how much of load can the network take, given the hefty packages of data … that will differentiate the customer experience,” Mathews said, adding the investment into the network to ensure that speed does not deteriorate will be critical. Ultimately, the price points and customer experience together will determine winners and losers going forward.
Ambani today announced that his telecom venture has crossed 100 million subscribers milestone in just 170 days of launch and Jio will offer 20 per cent extra data after matching the best data tariffs of rivals from April 1, 2017. Reliance Jio, he said, will continue to offer free voice calls and national roaming post April 1, when its promotional free voice and data offer ends.
In a statement, COAI’s Mathews said the industry is “pleased” to see the commencement of paid services by Jio as consumer choice and preference will now be revealed in the marketplace.
“The regulator must continue to play a pivotal role ensuring that both consumer interests and industry health are maintained by providing a transparent, fair and predictable regulatory environment which enables robust consumer choice, affordability and industry well-being while enabling the large amounts of investment that will be required to keep India in the forefront of the knowledge and digital revolution,” he said.
The price points and tariffs announced by RJio are “good news” for the consumer, he pointed out. “We congratulate RJio for reaching the 100 million subscriber mark in a record period of six months and becoming the largest global data network. It is indeed a milestone worth celebrating,” he said.