Reliance Jio 4G services, the much-hyped internet friendly mobile telecommunication service from RIL, went live on Monday. According to the company, consumers can avail the SIM card under its ‘Free Welcome Offer’. The benefit is an attempt to get more people onboard and test the network before the service turns paid on January 1, 2017.
As a consumer struggling with unreliable mobile data and an exorbitant bill every month, I went to a Reliance Digital Store to get one. I had my ID proof, address proof and few passport-size photographs in tow for a smooth experience. But I was disappointed. The first store had its shutter pulled down half way – which made it unclear whether the store is closed or open. I was not alone there.
Other interested customers were already trying to get their answers. A few minutes later someone from behind the closed door yelled at us saying the shop is closed. I wonder how can a shop be closed with people still inside, and door half-open. But let’s give it a pass.
I then went to Jio’s website. and located another store near me. It was at yards length and I didn’t want to waste a moment, akhir data ka sawaal hai. I reached the store at The Great India Place, Noida and was shocked to see a long queue. The Reliance Digital Store is a full-fledged electronics store, and it is unusual to see a queue for getting into that store. Today was something different. I went up to the last man standing in the queue, who immediately said, “SIM chahiye? Line pe lag jao.”
I joined the queue which moved quite fast as opposed to the snail’s pace we are used to in our country. After reaching the desk, I saw a register and a security guard staring at me. And the moment I asked him for a SIM, he blurted out, “Iss register pe naam likh do aur 21 tariq ko 11 baje ke baad documents ke saath aa jaana. SIM mil jayega (Write down your name and mobile number in this register and return on September 21 with the documents. You will get the SIM).”
In a matter of seconds, I was out of that queue wondering whether I will ever get Jio’s 4G SIM. I have heard from friends about registering for Royal Enfield, rich people registering for luxury cars, and here I ended up registering for a SIM; apparently, one that offers extremely fast 4G mobile data.
Isn’t there a way to get the Reliance Jio 4G SIM faster?
After registering for the SIM, I went into the store and understood there is a way to get Reliance Jio quickly. The easiest way to get Jio 4G is to buy a LYF branded handset or JioFi device. Another option is to port your number with Reliance Jio, but customers should refrain, considering the service is still in beta mode.
Reliance’s ambitions are very clear: to connect as many Indians as possible with company’s 4G data connection. Selling some of the company’s devices – LYF and JioFi -in the process is just a small side benefit.