Reliance Jio ‘Welcome Offer’ might get extension till March 2017!
Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., a unit of Reliance Industries Ltd., since its launch has been offering its services completely free as part of its Welcome Offer to test out the network before launching commercial operations. This offer was supposed to end on December 31, 2016, but recent reports suggest that Reliance Jio will extend the offer for even more time. Reports suggest that the company could probably extend its Jio Welcome Offer till March 2017.
This means that unless Reliance Jio alters its existing plan in near future, users on the network will get free 4G data up to 4GB per day, further extended till March 2017.
This offer includes unlimited HD voice calls, video calls, text messages, full access to Jio apps and high-speed 4G LTE internet. Last week Jio created a world record of acquiring 16 million customers in a month, but the target is still behind the forecast.
According to analysts and industry experts, Reliance could extend the Jio preview offer till March 2017 to attain its target of 100 million customers on the network. Although the company could see an attrition of nearly 40-50% post the preview offer, Reliance Jio wants to achieve the desired volumes before the subscribers switch.
When contacted, a Jio spokesperson said the Jio Welcome Offer or JWO "benefits of free unlimited Voice and data will be available to all subscribers up to December 31, 2016." But, the "JWO will be available to new consumers for subscription till December 3, 2016," the spokesperson added.
As we noted during the launch of Jio, the fine print for the tariffs included the line: Reliance Jio reserves the right to amend/ extend the special benefits for the existing customers beyond 31st December 2016, in case they are not able to get adequate experience of seamless connectivity across network due to limited interconnects.
This lines up very clearly with what Thakur said at the press conference:
“We have told Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and government that customers have faced issues with regard to the quality of service due to the interconnection congestion and they have not been able to enjoy the services that they deserve and what we want to deliver to them. And till we are in a position where we can deliver the quality of service as desired by the Jio management, it will be unfair to charge the customer.”
In a separate press release, the company said it has received communication from the telecom regulator stating that the tariff plans offered by it are "fully compliant with regulatory norms of IUC compliance, non-predatory, and non-discriminatory".
All the issues Jio has been facing have a little relation to other major players in the industry. Jio has also promised that the calls will remain free forever, so it is just the data they are charging for. Starting 2017, even if Jio starts charging for its internet plans, the company might not lose many customers because the plans are cheap compared to other telco majors.
In any case, you should make full use of the Jio services until 31st December and hope that Reliance extends the offer. This will also forcefully make other telcos modify their tariff plans and keep them on the leash longer.