Reliance Jio has unarguably been a catalyst in the internet ecosphere of India and has led to a lot of disruption within the telecom industry as well, but as their free services end on March 31, 2017, what is Mukesh Ambani’s next master plan to retain the 100 million subscribers his company boasts of?
The answer according to Reliance — in addition to keeping roaming and voice calls free — is Jio Prime membership and cheaper data plans compared to its competitors such as Vodafone, Airtel, Idea and the likes. But will they succeed in their endeavour?
Most certainly not. Why? Because of their spotty service in the free era.
While Reliance Jio gained popularity for offering all services free of cost, they also gained notoriety for being a network which cannot connect calls at one go and even when it does, you can barely make anything out of the conversation.
Most of the Jio users were using the service for the free data — as a secondary network — which also began to suffer since after the Happy New Year offer was launched in 2017.
How Can Jio Save Face and Customers?
As much of a disruptor and breakthrough that the service was, Reliance Jio failed to capture the trust of its users, a majority of whom will strongly consider putting their Jio sim cards in a box and away for good, as soon as the calendar shifts to April 1, 2017.
In the past few months, there have been increasing complaints by Jio users that calls don’t connect at once, there are drops in-call and the internet is scarcely available — especially in areas with high population.
Although the Jio Prime membership offer sounds interesting, the only way for Reliance to ensure that they retain the 100 million subscriber base that they’ve garnered in a little less than the past six months — and add several million more to it — is by offering a steady network, both for calls and internet.
If the network issues continue, it is very less likely that people will pay to access the internet using Jio — howsoever cheap their tariffs are — until they’re free of cost, of course.
The free service end after a month, which gives Reliance a significant window to enhance their 4G internet and voice calling services.
Making their service seamless and smooth for the next month and continuing the trend afterwards will allow users to better judge Jio Prime membership benefits — which look great on paper — and compare it to the existing telecom providers.
The Jio Prime Membership
Reportedly, the Jio Prime membership costs Rs.99 for the entire year and will be offered to the first 100 million subscribers that avail it on the network.
The catch is that Jio Prime members will be eligible for their Rs.303 tariff plan which gives the customer 1GB of hi-speed internet every day for the entire month which means that you get 30GB of 4G data for a month.
This might not be as good as free, but it’s still better than Jio competitors which offer a lot less at the same price. Users can avail Prime membership via the My Jio app or through a Jio sim retailer.