New Delhi: The Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) on Tuesday expressed relief that newcomer Reliance Jio Infocomm has announced “price points" for data services post 1 April, which although “aggressive" will not bleed the industry.
COAI said the pricing along with customer experience determined by a telecom network’s ability to take data traffic load will differentiate the winners from losers going forward.
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“They have announced the pricing for the services, which is a good news for the industry, at least they have started charging ... Our members will be giving their response but as an industry observer I can say that the industry will be relieved that price points have been announced. They are aggressive but not bad," COAI director general Rajan S Mathews told PTI.
Jio has announced that its existing subscribers and new customers who come on board by 31 March 2017, can continue to enjoy unlimited benefits of its ‘Happy New Year Offer’ for one more year (that is 31 March 2018) by paying one-time fee of Rs99 and Rs303 a month. “The Rs99 plus Rs303 is not a bad price point ... if the ARPUs (Average Revenue Per User) can be brought to Rs300 from the current Rs180 ...," Mathews said.
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In a speech broadcast live on the company’s social media accounts, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani said Jio users had consumed more than 100 crore GB of data per month on the Jio network, which is more than 3.3 crore GB a day. The Jio carries nearly 5.5 crore hours of video daily on its network. “The question is how much of load can the network take, given the hefty packages of data ... that will differentiate the customer experience," Mathews said, adding the investment into the network to ensure that speed does not deteriorate will be critical.
Ultimately, the price points and customer experience together will determine winners and losers going forward. Ambani on Tuesday announced that his telecom venture has crossed 100 million subscribers milestone in just 170 days of launch and Jio will offer 20% extra data after matching the best data tariffs of rivals from 1 April. Reliance Jio, he said, will continue to offer free voice calls and national roaming post 1 April, when its promotional free voice and data offer ends.