Jio wins first round in telecom war

  • With free voice calls offer

NEW DELHI: Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has said that the life time voice calls offer from Jio do not violate any guidelines. However, the promotional offer of Jio, that gives a slew of services including data at no cost, must conclude by the end of the year.

Reliance Jio, the new telecom company owned by Mukesh Ambani, announced a free promotional offer until December 31. After Jio launch, other operators like Bharti Airtel and Vodafone have alleged that the pricing plans of Jio were predatory, but TRAI disagreed with their argument.

TRAI said new subscribers will be able to avail of the Jio Welcome Offer until December 3, which said to be in compliance with a 90-day limit for promotional schemes.

Jio in a statement described the regulator’s decision as a win stressing that a big focus of its packages is “free voice calling for Local, STD and national roaming for all times.”

Jio, which launched in September, is offering free voice calls which means the telecom has to absorb the cost of 14 paise per minute for each call placed by its users to another network. Mukesh Ambani, launching his telecom services last month, said Jio subscribers would get free voice calls “for life” that are Internet-based.

Jio is also offering unlimited free fourth-generation or 4G mobile broadband till December 31. Basically, all services — voice and data — are free for all subscribers till December 31. After that, Jio will price 1GB of data at about Rs. 50 on average, about one-fifth of what rivals charge. Rivals have been forced by Jio’s aggressive pricing to drop their own rates.

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