Reliance Jio, the telecom subsidiary of Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), launched its 4G services on Monday (Sept 5) in India, eyeing 100 million customers in the “shortest possible time”.
Dedicating Jio to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India Vision, Ambani said at RIL’s 39th Annual General Meeting (AGM): “Jio means to live and to be alive to very opportunity. World’s demand for digital oxygen, that is data, is growing exponentially. Jio aims to fulfill this need of Indians. Access to information will now know no barriers.”
“Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for Digital India is a life changing moment. Jio is a dedication to that Digital India dream of the Prime Minister, his vision for the 1.2 billion people of India,” he added.
Meanwhile, experts feel that Jio is a bold move and that it will lead to a spur of 4G pan-India.
India Rating and Research (Ind-Ra) says Jio will make the telecom market more competitive.
“Large telecom companies including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular have already undertaken pre-emptive measures such as price cuts for higher data volumes at former price to retain its customers,” Tanu Sharma, Associate Director – Large Corporates, Ind-Ra was quoted as saying by Deccan Chronicle.
Meanwhile, state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) on Tuesday (Sept 6) said it will strongly match up to the tariffs offered by Jio.
“To survive in the market the only way to match Jio is to go tariff-by-tariff. Since we are an incumbent operator, BSNL can most successfully match Reliance Jio’s tariffs,” said the telecom PSU’s chairman and managing director Anupam Shrivastava.
Both Airtel and Vodafone India played down on the Jio “hype”.
“We have always offered great value to our customers, backed by excellent customer service, a nationwide presence, and Vodafone SuperNet– our best network ever. We will continue to do so for our hundreds of million customers across the country,” said a Vodafone spokesperson in a media statement.
In a presentation published by ET, the company further said: “Vodafone already has matching rates in the popular Rs 250-Rs 999 ranges. Our Rs 1,499 plans and above will be revised soon.”
Airtel, on the other hand, said in its presentation: “Jio is not offering Rs 50 per GB in any mobile plan. Lowest rate offered is Rs 67 per GB for which a prepaid user needs to shell out Rs 4,999 per month.”
Here are the things you must know before you decide to avail this service or not:
1. The company has announced that the services, including full-fledged unlimited 4G LTE data, HD voice and video calling, unlimited SM and a host of Jio premium apps, would be available free of cost for 117 days from Sept 5 until Dec 31, 2016 .
2. Under the “Welcome Offer”, users will have to pay from Jan 1, 2017, as per tariff plan selected by them.
The tariff plans start from Rs 19 and goes up to Rs 4,999. The tariff plans are available on company website www.jio.com
3. Jio SIM will work in 4-G enabled smartphones, including popular brands Micromax, LG, Samsung, HTC, Asus and Lava.
The iPhone, Xiaomi, Motorola and Lenovo users will have to wait until the company opens its service for their handsets.
4. If you do not have a smartphone which supports 4G VoLTE, you can buy a JioFI hotspot device that can connect to your existing smartphone through USB. The cost of the device Rs 1,999 and one can order through the company’s website.
5. Jio customers will get the voice call service for free. They will not even have to pay roaming charges within India.
6. The company has offered a special discount for students. Students will get 25 percent more data but they have to produce a valid student identity card.
7. You can also port your existing mobile number to Jio if your device supports Voice over LTE (VoLTE).
The porting procedure as given on Jio website is as follows:
i) To port in, send PORT Mobile Number to 1900 from your existing number which needs to be ported to Jio.
ii) Download MyJio app from Play Store or App Store and generate offer code.
iii) Walk in to any of the Reliance Digital / Dx Mini / Preferred Jio retailer or prominent multi-brand Jio stores with the port out code and your Jio Welcome Offer code along with the handset.
iv) You will need to submit a copy of Proof of Address, Proof of Identity and a photograph for availing your Jio SIM.
8. You can get a Jio SIM from any Reliance Digital Xpress Store or a Reliance Digital Xpress Mini Store by filling up a Customer Acquisition Form (CAF).
You will need to submit photocopy of a valid photo identity proof (including Aadhar Card) and a couple of passport-size photographs. The details will be tele-verified and an SMS receipt will be sent to the user.
9. The company will also be launching e-KYC in the next six months where users will be able to avail a Reliance Jio SIM card in just 15 minutes.
10. Jio will also be introducing ISD facility and international messaging on chargeable basis shortly. Users will be able to buy ISD vouchers from MyJio app or by logging in to www.jio.com. International roaming packs will also be launched shortly.
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.