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Reliance Jio may extend that telecom vacation you’re enjoying, till March 2017

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While multiple reports claim that Jio will have to stop offering free services from 3rd December, a new report suggests that the company will continue to offer free services till March 2017.

The free services, which are being offered by Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd are under the company’s “Jio Welcome Offer”. The service is slated to expire on 31st December but as per the information provided by the parent company to analysts, the service will be expanded till March.

In a note dated 21 October, Motilal Oswal wrote:

Mass scale free welcome offer could continue until March 2017 to attract subscriber growth towards the celebrated 100 million mark with RJio’s indicative data pricing at Rs130-140 per giga byte.

The management team of Reliance Industries have said that there were no restrictions on the number of promotional offers a company can launch. Shedding more light on this, Citi Research analysts wrote:

If the situation with the points of interconnect pertaining to voice calls persists with the incumbents, then they will look at innovative solutions to ensure that users do not pay unless the quality of service improves.

According to Anshuman Thakur, head of strategy and planning at Reliance Jio, the company does not need permission from the telecom regulator to extend free services beyond December. He further added:

Trai tariff is under forbearance. What Trai requires operators to do is file the tariff plans with Trai so that if they have any comments they can come back. This is post seven days of implementing the tariff. So Trai does not need to approve but if it has any comment or observations to make, or wants the operator to modify the plan in anyway, the operator has to do that.

RIL has said that the “Jio Welcome Offer” will get over on 3rd December, but the benefits of free data and calls will continue till 31 December. According to Trai guidelines, a telecom operator cannot offer a promotional offer for more than 90 days and hence Jio will have to stop the same by 3 December.

Earlier this month, the company had announced that it has reached the mark of 16 million users on its network within just one month of its launch. With this, the company became the first telecom operator in the entire world to have achieved such milestone in just one month.

Recently, Credit Suisse has said that the per day data traffic of Reliance Jio is highest in the entire world. This is pretty big for a company which has been launched just 45 days ago. As per the report, Jio’s network carries 16,000 terabytes of data traffic a day, exceeding the levels of China Mobile (12,000-plus TBs/day) and Vodafone Global (6,000 TBs/day).

While the company is achieving milestones after milestones, not everything is working as per the plans for Jio. According to an analysis of internet speeds by TRAI, Reliance Jio is currently the slowest 4G network in India with an average download and upload speed of 6.2 Mbps and 2.4 Mbps respectively.

This data has been compiled using over 1.5 million speed tests conducted for a multitude of networks across the country. Jio follows pursuit to every other major telecom operator in the country, including even Idea Cellular. Airtel leads the show with a tremendous download speed of 11.4 Mbps.

The company of course, has rather vehemently opposed the same.

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