Mumbai: All the free goodies from Reliance Jio are going to end on April 1 when the Mukesh Ambani led Reliance will start charging for the data that the subscribers use. Till now the company was doling out free unlimited data to its users across the country.
It means that the real test of the company will begin once it starts charging for the data. People rushed to get hold of the Reliance Jio SIM not because of its exceptional speed or any other great feature. They made a beeline to get hold of the Jio SIM merely because of the fact that they wanted the free data.
Mobile data charges are exorbitant in the Indian market. In the last three years, leading telecom operators have hiked the data charges by as much as three times, making the reach of internet all the more difficult for people.
Free data by Jio ensured that the people who were deprived of it due to high prices leaped up to get it and used it as much as they could, provided if the signals were strong.
In the meantime, Mukesh Ambani, the Reliance Industries (RIL) Chairman and Managing Director Tuesday said Reliance Jio has crossed the 100 million customer mark since its launch on September 5.
While talking to the media, India’s wealthiest person said, “Jio was launched on September 5 last year. In only 170 days we have crossed the 100 million customer mark. This achievement is of India and Indians”. He said that on an average Jio added seven customers on its network every second. “This is an unprecedented level of acceptance of any technology company anywhere in the world.” Ambani said that prior to the launch of Reliance Jio, India was ranked 150th in terms of data penetration. It was now at number one. “Last month Jio users have consumed 100 crore gigabytes of data. India is number one today in terms of mobile data usage.”
The business man, who has invested massive amount of money in his new venture said by the end of 2017, 99 per cent of the country’s population will be covered by the network with its presence in nearly all cities, towns and villages. He pointed out that the company has doubled its 4G stations as compared to its competitors. Announcing free user benefits for another 12 months under a cost-effective membership plan, Jio’s latest offerings are expected to stiffen the competition further in the telecom sector.
He further said, “Under Jio prime membership plan, the users can become members for a full year for a nominal one-time fee of Rs 99. Enrolment will start from March 1 and will remain open till March 31. They would continue enjoying the unlimited benefits for another 12 months”. Post-March 2018, Jio prime members would be able to avail the same benefits for another year at Rs 303 per month tariff plan, he added. Apart from that, he said the company will start offering tariff plans starting April 1 for people who do not opt for the prime membership plan. “We will start offering tariff plans starting April 1. Calls to all networks, roaming will remain free after April 1,” he added. Ambani also vowed to match the tariff data plans of its competitors with 20 per cent more data.
Since Reliance Jio became available, the use of social media sites has gone up. Facebook has said that the number of its subscribers has gone up substantially in the last four months.