New Delhi: Billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries’ welcome offer of free voice calls and data on its recently-launched Jio mobile phone services will be available till 31 December only for those users who will buy subscription by 3 December.
India’s richest man had stormed his way into the telecom sector last month announcing a Reliance Jio Welcome Offer beginning 4 September. The sector regulator Trai in an order said as per regulations the free services by Reliance Jio will be limited to 90 days, which ends on 3 December.
“The revised offer of free services by Reliance Jio has been limited to 90 days i.e. December 3, 2016 and therefore is consistent with the guidelines on promotional offers,” Trai said in an order.
When contacted, a Jio spokesperson said the Jio Welcome Offer or JWO “benefits of free unlimited Voice and data will be available to all subscribers up to December 31, 2016.” But, the “JWO will be available to new consumers for subscription till December 3, 2016,” the spokesperson said.
He said consumers who have not subscribed services till 3 December will be able to subscribe to New offers as well as tariff plans that are available from Reliance Jio.
“Jio will continue offering consumer friendly plans to enhance data and voice experience of all consumers,” he added.
Ambani while announcing the launch on 1 September had said that voice calling on Reliance Jio will be free for life and data would be charged at rock-bottom rates after the welcome offer ends.
After the Trai order, the company did not indicate the tariffs to be charged to users taking services after 4 December. Incumbent operators like Bharti Airtel and Vodafone along with industry body COAI had approached the regulator against the new entrant’s scheme of offering free calls and unlimited data access to consumers till 31 December 2016. They had also complained that given the free data offer, a “tsunami” of “asymmetric” traffic originating from Reliance Jio network was coming to their networks, leading to an increased number of call drops.
However, the regulator said the submissions made have been examined and “it is found that the tariff plans filed with Trai cannot be considered as IUC non-complaint, predatory and discriminatory, at present”.
It added that the Authority would continue to keep a close watch on the tariffs being offered in the market by all players, including Reliance Jio.