Reliance Industries Ltd Chairman Mukesh Ambani on Thursday announced that all new Reliance Jio users will receive data, voice, video and “the full bouquet of Jio applications” free of cost from December 4 to March 31, 2017. All existing customers will get the extended benefits of the “Jio Happy New Year” offer on their current SIM cards.
“Under the Jio Happy New Year Offer, customers will get 30 times the average usage on other networks free till March 31,” Ambani said, adding that during this period, customers will also be able to test-drive the network’s digital recharge, billing experience and the use of the JioMoney wallet.
JioMoney and demonetisation:
The company is also launching a “digital retail ecosystem” called the JioMoney Merchant Solutions to allow “low-value, high-volume transactions”. “This will enable digital transactions of all types, whether they are at mandis, small shops or restaurants,” the RIL chairman said, also introducing Jio’s new mobile portability service. The news comes a month after RIL ventured into the telecom sector.
Ambani also lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “bold and historic” decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. “Digitally-enabling transactions will boost economic growth, while bringing unprecedented transparency and accountability. I believe that common people will be the biggest beneficiaries of this change,” he said. “Today, thanks to solutions like JioMoney, every Indian has the ability to have a Digital ATM in their pocket
Competition and interconnection points:
Since its launch, Jio has been in a tussle with India’s biggest telecom operators – Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular. “While customers have shown unprecedented love for Jio, we have not received the required support from existing operators,” Ambani said on Thursday. “In the past three months, nearly 900 crore voice calls from Jio to the networks of our three largest competitors were blocked. Benefits of Jio’s superior technology have been denied to customers due to anti-competitive behaviour of incumbent operators.”
On Tuesday, Reliance Jio had moved the Competition Commission of India citing cartel-like behaviour from the three service providers. Jio had accused them of abusing their market positions to deny it enough points-of-interconnection for its customers. After it had sought the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s intervention in the matter, the agency had proposed fining the three companies Rs 3,050 crore for failing to provide the newcomer with the requisite number of interconnections. Ambani thanked the government of India for intervening in the ongoing telecom dispute.
Moreover, the business magnate reiterated that domestic voice calls over the Jio network will remain a free service. “In three months, Jio has become the fastest growing technology company in world history. It has grown faster than Facebook, WhatsApp and Skype...Thank you for reinforcing India’s digital appetite,” he said.
Ambani further stressed on Jio’s use of the e-KYC system, adding that they had signed up six lakh customers every day for the past three months using this service. “We were able to fast track Aadhaar-based SIM activation [through e-KYC],” he said, adding that this allowed allowed SIM activation in under five minutes and was the best experience for activating anywhere in the world. “This is being progressively launched across India through MyJio and will be available in the top 100 cities by December 31,” Ambani said, mentioning Jio’s recently introduced home delivery system that used the e-KYC system.