Reliance Jio Will Also Give Unlimited Data on Plan Rs. 149
Today Reliance Jio is set to roll out its full-fledged 4G services in India. That means that Jio services will be open to all smartphone brands, which were not under its umbrella previously. Though Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) opened its 4G service to most brands like LG, Samsung, Asus, HTC,Lava, Micromax etc.; there still were a few left out. This includes Xiaomi, iPhone, Motorola, and Lenovo. Now, any user with a 4G-enabled handset is appropriate for Jio SIM card.
News agency PTI cited sources and said, “The SIMs will be available at nearly two lakh stores across the country, including locations where SIMs from other vendors are also sold.” The SIM cards were only presented at Reliance Digital Store o Digital Xpress Mini stores.
Although Reliance Jio declared plans last week, the company seem to like to be still working out what the final rates and profits for customers will be once customers start paying for services from January 1. As of now, there are ten different plans under which user can subscribe to Jio - voice calls are free in all plans, and user pays only for the data packs. The entry-level plan, Rs. 149, looked like a bad deal at the launch since it only came with 300MB of data bundled, and no access to Reliance’s JioNet Wi-Fi network, or to the unlimited 4G usage at night (between 2AM and 5AM) that all the other plans get to use.
Now, the company has updated its plans on the Jio website, and it's proposing free night usage even for the Rs. 149 plan, and 700MB of bundled usage at Jio's public Wi-Fi hotspots. This gets the entry level plan more in line with Jio's other offerings, however, the amount of data being presented is still very low. Even if user counts the Wi-Fi access that works out to Rs. 150 per GB far more than user pays on any of the other Jio plans.
At present, no other telecom operator offers unlimited, full-speed 4G.In addition, users also get 4 GB of day-time 4G data as well, as part of the Rs 499 pack. The plan is probably to create the major disruption in India’s telecom market, where users normally spend about Rs 200 to make about 350 minutes of calls, and another Rs 250 for 1 GB of data. Under this new tariff plan, one can get unlimited high-speed downloading at night and voice calls throughout the day for Rs 499.
In fact, for Rs 500, user get only 4 GB of 4G data on other networks and Jio is proposing free unlimited calling and night data usage as extras.
“We see a good amount of migration happening from the current incumbents till the free period, or December 31, as Indian consumers are price-sensitive,” KPMG partner Jaideep Ghosh said in an interview. “After the free period, we have to see if Jio is able to retain customers as the incumbent telcos will not take it lying down and come with better offers triggering a price war.”
“With Rs.149 entry-level offer, Jio’s average revenue per user (ARPU) will be much higher than the existing players,” Mr. Ghosh said. “The industry average is the only Rs.125 per user, most of which comes from voice.”
Rumit Dugar, an analyst at Religare Institutional Research, wrote in a note to clients: “We believe RJio’s launch will put pressure on voice tariffs for incumbents, who would now be prodded to roll out more bundled plans. While we are already below consensus, we cut our margin estimates for Idea and Bharti further (150 bps or 5 per cent EBITDA) to factor in higher network costs, churn rates, and marketing growth.”
Jio also revealed an entry-level plan of Rs 149 per month, For those who don’t want to spend so much, or who do not need data at all.This plan is directed at those who use their phones only or mainly for voice calls and do not have big data needs.Under this plan, the user gets 300 MB of data per month plus unlimited voice calls. 300 MB will be sufficient to do some amount of WhatsApp messaging and the occasional app downloads.
Jio also revealed other plans for those who need more data. Though, disappointingly, the plans are not just as affordable as expected if the usage is mainly during the daytime. A typical heavy data user would be prepared to spend Rs 1,500-2,500 in return for 50-100 GB per month of data.Though, Jio’s new plans offer only 20 GB of day-time data for Rs 1,499 and 35 GB for Rs 2,499.This suggests a tariff of Rs 75 per GB in the case of the Rs 1,500 plan and Rs 71.43 per GB for the Rs 2,500 plan.
However these plans offer unlimited voice calls and night data, many users — particularly small businesses — may not have much use for these extra features, and may have a preference to go with Airtel’s Rs 51 per GB offer instead.