The launch of Reliance Jio in India earlier this year brought huge disruption to the industry, as its rock-bottom pricing garnered a lot of attention. Today, Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani is holding another press conference where he is likely to make a big Reliance Jio related announcement.
Reliance Jio’s launch prompted other telcos to adjust their plans as well but after the initial rush, the sheen started to wear off for Jio. This hasn’t mattered too much until now – Reliance Jio users are still on what the carrier calls its “Welcome Offer”, under which all calls, all data usage, and access to all Jio services such as JioOnDemand and JioBeats, are all being given completely without charge.
This is set to change in another month’s time – the Reliance Jio Welcome Offer is slated to end on December 31 as announced by Mukesh Ambani in October – at which point users will have to select a prepaid or postpaid plan. The plans will only charge for data – calls are free forever, and for the next year, the Jio services will also be offered without charge. Even so, it’s going to be a big change, and many would expect people to start leaving Reliance Jio, given that speeds have been less than ideal, and call drops occur with distressing regularity.
Mukesh Ambani and Reliance Jio have repeatedly claimed that this problem occurs because the other telcos are denying it points of interconnection – something the other telcos have predictably denied. Jio has said that this has not allowed it to properly test its network, and because of this, it might not be ready for commercial operations yet.
Many believe that in today’s announcement, Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani is going to cite lack of cooperation from other telcos, and insufficient testing, to extend the Reliance Jio Welcome Offer by another three months. Of course, there has been no official statement about this, but we don’t have long to wait to find out, as the Jio announcement will begin at 1.30PM on Thursday. The announcement will be streamed live across a number of different platforms, and you can follow along for yourself if you want to be completely up to date with everything Mukesh Ambani announces related to Reliance Jio. We too are of course going to give you all the news that matters from the Jio announcement.