Currently Jio 4G users are enjoying free service, which includes free data and free calls, as part of Reliance Happy New Year Offer. This offer, as specified by the company earlier, will end on March 31. But at the same time, Jio is said to be working on new tariff plans, which will make Jio the cheapest telecom service in the country.
Although Jio had announced the details of the commercial plans earlier in September when it opened the 4G service for public, a report by Economic Times says that the company is now working on newer — and cheaper — plans. The report says that as part of making the service popular, Jio is likely to come with the Rs 100 offer to all the people using the service. It will ask consumers to pay Rs 10 each month for three months until June-end for free data and free voice calls after the Happy New Year Offer ends on March 31.
Although the plan is seemingly in the early stages, it makes a lot of sense for Jio to come up with something like this. Specifically, such a plan will take care of three things.
One, the plan will ease the consumers, who would be using Jio free for nearly 6 months, into a paying for a plan. If Jio asks consumers to pay a higher price for less data, the consumers using it for free may not immediately turn themselves into paying customers. But a more modestly priced plan of something like Rs 100 for the same unlimited services may help Jio convert more free users into paying consumers.
Two, it will help Jio fine-tune its network further. Once the paid services of Jio start, it is expected that many existing Jio users, who are using the Jio SIM as their secondary, data-only SIM, may drop off. By working for three more months with consumers who are willing to pay, Jio may be able to gauge the network performance in a better way. In a way, this would follow the standard alpha and beta testing that companies do for their products. The current Jio phase can be considered alpha testing. The upcoming three months with Rs 100 offer could be the beta, when Jio will not only be able to test out network but also its customer response and billing systems.
Finally, the Rs 100 offer will help Jio stave off the regulatory challenge posed by Airtel and others. These companies are already furious that Jio has been allowed to extend its free offer beyond December 31. If Jio wants to test its services further and want to extend the free services beyond March 31, it may not be possible for the company at all. Hence, a Rs 100 will help it counter the argument from Airtel and others that Jio services are free and hence unfair competition.