Reliance Jio’s 4G services are now live and for customers who sign up data and voice will be free till December 31, 2016, after which tariffs come into force. Jio’s 4G service will offer free voice-calling to customers, and claims to have the lowest data rates in the world starting at Rs 50 per GB. The plans are starting at Rs 19 and with free voice-calling. However, there’s a lot of fineprint text one needs to read to fully understand what Jio is actually offering.
Here’s a look at the terms and conditions of the Reliance Jio service, that one needs to consider before signing up for the service.
For starters, the Jio service’s voice-calling is free for sure, but video calls you make on the network will be debited via your data-calling pack. The plans start from January 1, 2017.
The free WiFi data benefit in your prepaid and postpaid plans will only work through public WiFi hotspots of Reliance Jio. A user needs to access and log-in on the Reliance Jio WiFi app to access these, after you have located an actual WiFi hotspot.
The deal about the “Unlimited at Night”, means data that is used between 2am and 5am. If you use beyond this, your regular data pack will apply.
On the Jio apps, the subscription is free for now, but any data used during these apps will be cut from your regular data pack applicable at the time. This also includes video calls. Interestingly, these Jio apps won’t work on non-Jio Networks, and you will need to be on Reliance Jio 4G to actually access these apps.
Planning to start your Jio prepaid recharge with the low-budget packs? Reliance Jio says prepaid packs with denominations Rs 19, Rs 129 and Rs 299 cannot be used as the first recharge by a new customer. Also the Rs 19 and Rs 129 data pack have a validity of one day and seven days respectively, which is quite less.
So what happens if you run out of the 4GB data pack? The charging rates don’t start at Rs 50 per GB. Instead, the rate is Rs 250/GB with 10 KB charging pulse, which is not exactly cheap. And on postpaid plans, if you exhaust the free 4G LTE data, the extra data will be free but at a reduced speed of 128Kbps, which we all know is not enough to run anything fun.
Reliance Jio is offering 15 per cent discount for postpaid users who opt for auto-debit option using credit/debit cards/online transfer for their bill. Students with valid ID also get 25 per cent additional 4G and WiFi data benefits.
All local and STD video calls in home and national roaming will be charged only for data usage. Data on roaming has the same rates as data in your home circle.
Also read: Reliance Jio vs Vodafone vs Airtel: Here’s what 4G tariff looks like across these networks
Reliance Jio will give users 100 local and national SMS free per day in most prepaid plans. Reliance has not specified what happens should one exceed this 100 free SMS limit on any one day.
If you’re planning to use the Jio SIM only for data usage, then watch out.
In the fine print for prepaid vouchers, this is what it reads, “The account validity will be automatically extended however the mobile connection will be deactivated if there is no voice/video call (outgoing or incoming) or an outgoing SMS or a data session (upload or download) or usage of Value Added Services, for a continuous period of 90 days and in case the main account balance is less than Rs 20 at the discretion of RJIL. Upon deactivation, all account balances will be forfeited and a grace period of 15 days will be provided within which the subscriber can retain the deactivated number by paying a fee of Rs 20. If the subscriber main account balance is Rs 20 or more, a number retention charge of Rs 20 will be automatically deducted and the non-usage period will be extended by 30 days.”
So as Reliance customer you need to maintain more than Rs 20 as balance and video/voice calls in order to continue retaining the number.
There’s also links to Reliance Jio Prepaid vouchers on the Plan page of Jio.com which list out the pricing for the calls, SMS, on roaming, home. Rates here are shown as Rs 1/SMS and voice call charges are 2p per second and 5 per second for video across the board. These are part of Start Up Kit. The Start Up Kit priced at Rs 10 (inclusive of all taxes) and benefits listed under these apply till December 31. According to the fine print, “subscribers can start availing the above Plan Vouchers with effect from 5th September 2016,” which is today.
It’s not clear how these are different from the other plans, and whether applying these vouchers will mean calls will be charged by Jio.