Jio by Reliance has created so much buzz since its launch in 2016 that it has changed the Indian telecom industry forever.
Here are some facts you need to know about Jio
When did Jio launch?
- Reliance Jio, a subsidiary of Reliance Industry launched its 4G network service on 5th September 2016 offering 4G data to everyone at the cheapest prices ever. It also let users make free voice calls not only to its own network but also from Jio to other networks.
- The service was free up to 4 months for anyone. All you needed was your Aadhar card as proof to get your Jio SIM Card.
- And that’s what gave Jio a fan following of 72 million subscribers in less than three months itself.
What happened after the free-trial?
- After the free trial the data schemes offered by Jio were still cheaper compared to other telecom providers. And they came with free local, STD, roaming incoming and outgoing calls.
- Apart from this Jio launched a cheap feature phone at just ₹ 0 (Not exactly free, they took a deposit of ₹ 1500 which could be withdrawn back by the user by returning the phone after 3 years) and it tied up with Google to launch an affordable smartphone.
How has Jio affected other competitors?
- Initially the users of other telecom providers did not fall much because they wanted to exhaust their existing data plans before switching over to Jio.
- But the way Jio aggresively went on adding customers at their expense it became really difficult for Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, etc to grow their user base.
- That’s why other providers had to slash their data prices to retain consumers, compete with Jio and stay in the market.
- Vodafone and Idea have also decided to merge due to competition from Jio. This merger is likely to happen by 2018.
- Despite Jio’s aggressive launch, Airtel, Vodafone and Idea share prices weren’t affected as much initially. According to experts the main reason for this is the lack of quality offered with Jio.
In this cat fight between telecom providers which are the best plans to choose?
During the Jio launch period a lot of users who called their network providers with a mobile portability request were given surprisingly good data plans at extremely cheap rates.
Now all the providers are offering similar kind of services at lower rates. So you have a wide variety to choose from.
But make sure you change your existing plans to the newer ones that are being offered otherwise you might end up paying a higher price for lesser services.
Also read: The Financial Minimalism Challenge
So how does Jio make money ?
- Through data plans that will be charged post March 2017: Only the first 3 months of Jio were free after which you are required to pay and once you’ve shared your number with your contacts you wouldn’t want to change your sim card
- By selling LYF phones: These are custom made mobile phones for Jio consumers made by Chinese manufacturers
- Through their in purchase apps that are free for users till 2018. But once people get used to them they wouldn’t mind paying for them
- Reliance also has plans to setup a payments bank with SBI
- By offering enterprises the enterprise telecom services
- By tapping the Internet of Things Market which is a huge untapped space worth billions of dollars
- By launching an IPO for Reliance Jio and getting listed on the stock market
Rumour has it that Jio might leak your data:
People got Jio by providing their Aadhar card, this might have seemed like an innocent move by users but Aadhar has a lot of your personal information.
Although the company denies sharing or leaking any private information a data leak had occurred. Moreover now with Aadhar being linked to practically everything your information might not be safe at all. The only way there can be some respite for Indian users when it comes to privacy is if the government comes out with watertight laws on privacy and data protection. Until then we can just wait and watch!
So now you know what the buzz around Jio was all about! If you wish to read more articles on the telecom sector comment and let us know.