Reliance Jio 4G services are finally here. From September 5, everyone will be able to queue up and buy a Reliance Jio SIM to avail the “cheapest data rates in the world”. Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani made the announcement on Thursday at the company’s AGM.
Ambani called the service an effort to fulfil the Digital India dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. India and Indians cannot be left behind as life goes digital across the world, he said. “Jio is more than just a business. It is a commitment to enrich the life of every Indian,” he said, dedicating the services to the nation. “Jio’s mission is to meet this exploding need, to go from data shortage to data abundance.”
The Reliance Jio service, he said, is based on five pillars — network, devices, content, services and tariffs. The company wants to set new benchmarks for all of the above, he added.
However, the biggest revolution will be in tariffs. Ambani announced that no Jio users will pay for voice calls ever. Also, the data plans, he said are the cheapest in the world at 5 paise per MB. The costliest service will be capped at Rs 4,999 a month and will come with concierge services. Also, there will be just 10 plans making it simple for users to understand. There will also be no roaming rates, and students will be able to get 25 per cent more data on Jio’s main tariffs, he added.
Ambani also had asked legacy service providers, who he said were struggling to provide for the data boom in India, to not create hurdles in the path of Reliance Jio by making interconnectivity tough. He said there have been five crore calls drops on his network in just the past month and blamed the other service providers for this. “Incumbents have an advantage and you should not misuse it,” he warned. There was also a warning for rival service providers in the target he set for Reliance Jio as a major chunk of the 100 million new users will most likely be those switching over from existing services.
However, suggesting that the service was still in a Beta phase, he said the Reliance Jio services will be fully free till the end of this year. This should give the company the chance to test out the network with more users and fix issues as needed.
Triggering what could be an explosion for data-led services in India, Ambani said: “Every Indian can do ‘datagiri’. Do unlimited good things with unlimited data.”