Reliance Jio Prime Subscription Plan: Rivals Relieved as Jio Starts Charging

Post Reliance Jio Prime subscription plan’s launch, Cellular operators’ association COAI on Tuesday expressed relief that newcomer Reliance Jio has announced “price points” for data services post April 1, which although “aggressive” will not bleed the industry.

With Reliance Jio’s Prime subscription plan coming into effect soon, Cellular Operators Association of India (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.

“[Reliance Jio] 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 while commenting on the new Jio Prime subscription plan.

Jio has announced that its existing subscribers and new customers who come on board by March 31, 2017, can continue to enjoy unlimited benefits of its ‘Happy New Year Offer’ for one more year (that is March 31, 2018) by paying one-time fee of Rs. 99 and Rs. 303 a month, as part of what it is calling Reliance Jio Prime subscription offer.

“The Rs. 99 plus Rs. 303 is not a bad price point … if the ARPUs (Average Revenue Per User) can be brought to Rs 300 from the current Rs. 180 …,” Mathews said on the Jio Prime plan.

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. Reliance Jio carries nearly 5.5 crore hours of video daily on its network, he added.

“The question is how much of load can the [Reliance Jio] 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 in the war between Reliance Jio and other players like Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea.

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 percent extra data after matching the best data tariffs of rivals from April 1, 2017.

As announced earlier, Reliance Jio, he said, will continue to offer free voice calls and national roaming post April 1, when its promotional free voice and data offer ends.