Today, At Reliance AGM, Mukesh Ambani finally broke the silence on the tariffs for Reliance Jio including making all domestic voice calls and roaming free, while saying data would be priced well below its competitors., Ambani said - it was announced that Jio will charge only 5 paise per MB, or Rs. 50 per GB. What's more, the greater the usage, the lower the cost will be, and the rates could go down to Rs. 25 per GB. Ambani also announced that Jio services will become available from Monday, September 5, absolutely free as part of the 'Jio welcome offer', so everyone can try Jio's services at no charge.
Mr. Ambani, speaking at the company’s annual general meeting in Mumbai, added the 4G network would cover 90 per cent of India's 1.25 billion population by March 2017 and would eventually cover 18,000 cities and 200,000 villages.
The Jio 4G tariffs start at Rs. 149 for 28 days, for 300MB. For Rs. 499 per month you get a big step up, to 4GB of 4G data, plus unlimited 4G at night, for 28 days. You'll also get 8GB of access from Reliance Jio's upcoming network of Wi-Fi hotspots, further increasing the amount of data you can use. For Rs. 999, that goes up to 10GB of 4G data, and 20GB of Wi-Fi usage, plus unlimited usage at night. Further plans are for Rs. 1,499 for 20GB, Rs. 2,499 for 35GB, and Rs. 3,999 for 60GB of 4G data, and twice as much Wi-Fi usage respectively. The most expensive plan is for Rs. 4,999 for 75GB of 4G usage plus unlimited 4G usage at night, and 150GB of Wi-Fi data. These are all pre-paid tariffs, and Jio has not revealed its post-paid plans.
Experts also say that Jio's move will increase data usage across the board. "For a price-sensitive market like India, launch of affordable data services and free voice calls is indeed a welcome step. This is expected to drive greater data adoption across segments," noted Prashant Singhal, Global Telecommunication Leader, Ernst and Young.
After JIO's announcement, Bharti Airtel released an official statement welcoming Reliance Jio's entry into the telecom space and wished them luck. "We welcome Reliance Jio's entry to the digital world and wish them the very best. We also welcome Jio's call to leading operators to work together. As a responsible operator, we will fulfil all our regulatory obligations as we have always done, Over the last 20 years, Airtel has been contributing towards building a digitally enabled India and remains fully committed to and take leadership in supporting the government's Digital India vision. We will continue to innovate and deliver best-in-class products and services to our customers" Airtel said in a statement.
But at the end it's the quality of service which really counts. The real differentiators will come only then.