Reliance Could Extend Jio 4G Welcome Offer Till March-17. After The Great Response And Popularity Of Its Jio 4G Welcome Offer’, Reliance Jio Thinking To Extend Its Free Services Until March 2017, According To Analysts.
“Mass scale free welcome offer could continue until March 2017 to attract subscriber growth towards the celebrated 100 million mark,” analysts at research firm Motilal Oswal wrote in an October 21 note, Live Mint reports. This essentially means that if you are an existing Reliance Jio customer, you will continue to enjoy the free unlimited voice and data offer till March 2017.
Last Week It Was Reported That Reliance Will End Its Jio Welcome Offer On December 3 After A TRAI Directive. And That Is Still Happening. But There Is Also A Chance That Reliance May Figure Out Some Way To Extend The Free Offer, If That Is What The Situation Demands. According To A New Report Reliance Jio Has Informed Analysts That It May Extend Free Data And Voice Calls Services Till March 2017.
According To TRAI, A Telecom Operator Cannot Offer A Plan With Free Services For More Than 90 Days. However, Analysts At Citi Research Have Been Reportedly Informed By Reliance Industries Management That There Were No Restrictions On The Number Of Promotional Offers A Company Can Launch.
Last week rival carriers had alleged that Reliance Jio was breaking the country’s laws by making a promotional offer for more than 90 days as permitted, a claim that Telecom Regulatory Authority of India quashed. In response, Jio tweaked its offer and announced that the “Welcome Offer” would only be valid for customers who come on its network till December 3, which marks 90 days since the September 5 announcement. However, it added that it customers who join December 4 Onwards would be offered tariff plans that would be applicable at the time, hinting it could announce a different promotional offer for them.
Analysts also point out the impending Points of Interconnect (PoI) issue with rival operators has not been resolved, yet, which could also force Jio to extend its free usage offer. The PoI issue has already been a bone of contention between Jio and major rivals like Airtel, Vodafone and Idea, where Jio has accused them of not providing enough points for its users to make calls to rival networks. The TRAI has taken cognizance of the situation and imposed a heavy fine totaling to Rs 3,050 crore on the three carriers.
Reliance Jio’s head of strategy and planning, Anshuman Thakur, said at a press conference on Thursday, “We have told Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) 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.”
Citi Research analysts have suggested that if the issue regarding interconnection point doesn’t improve, Reliance Jio may look at “innovative solutions” so customers don’t have to pay until the quality improves.
Considering the conflict between TRAI’s guidelines and Reliance Jio’s statement, it is very much likely that Jio may change the Welcome Offer’s name to something else and continue offering free data and calls to customers. While it may sound like a quick trick to bypass TRAI norms, it sure seems valid under TRAI’s guidelines since technically the company will not be offering the same promotional plan for more than 90 days.