After years of teasing and delays, Jio, telecom network (or revolution in the words of many) from one of India’s largest business conglomerates — Reliance, has now been officially announced. While the announcement was nothing short of a festival, the official roll out date of the SIM cards are out — Sept. 5th.
The company says that it has already intimated the Department of Telecommunications (“DOT”), Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (“TRAI”) and the security agencies regarding the commencement of its wireless telecommunication services in all 22 service areas from 5 September 2016.
Furthermore, it has also filed the tariff plans for wireless services with TRAI. With these steps, Jio has fulfilled all the requirements of Unified License for commencement of services.
Jio has built a world-class all-IP data strong future proof network with latest 4G LTE technology. It claims to be the only network conceived and born as a Mobile Video Network from the ground up and supporting Voice over LTE technology. It is future ready and can be easily upgraded to support even more data, as technologies advance on to 5G, 6G and beyond.
New subscribers of Jio will be greeted with ‘Jio Welcome Offer’ which comes with certain special benefits. These benefits comprise of access to unlimited LTE data and national voice, video and messaging services, including national roaming, along with the full bouquet of Jio applications and content, completely free up to 31 December 2016.
Along with cheaper data rates, one of the major USP of Jio is that domestic voice calls to any network across the country would be always free. Yes, the domestic voice calls to any network across the country, both in local as well as while roaming nationally, will be completely free for Jio subscribers forever. The company further says that the data used for the voice calls will also neither be charged nor deducted from the data balance of the subscriber.
Till now, the service was under testing. It was available to users who purchase LYF smartphones. Later on, many smartphone companies partnered with Jio to offer free Jio service for 3 months to its users, including Samsung, Gionee, Micromax, LG, etc.
Now, the users who were using Jio services till now under the company’s ‘Jio Preview Offer’, will now be migrated to this new ‘Jio Welcome Offer’. Thus, everyone using Jio SIM card will now be able to use the service for free of cost till 31st December.
Reliance Jio has also requested the telecom operators to not create unnecessary hurdles and let people use MNP services without any kind of restrictions or pressure. Howeever, Reliance will be offering the MNP only in 2017, giving enough breathing room for operators to retain their customer base. In any case though, experts are not expecting much change in the current status quo of market share.
The test users of the network were struggling to make calls. This was due to interconnection issues with other network operators, who were miffed with Jio citing that they are doing commercial operations under its testing phase. However, the company is hoping that following commencement of services by Jio, the incumbent operators would fulfil their obligations to provide adequate interconnection and MNP facility.
During the announcement of Jio, Ambani had noted that people had to wait for hours to get their SIM card activated. Now, the process has been revised for eKYC. The company has already started rolling this out in Mumbai and Delhi, and soon any customer with an Aadhaar card will be able to walk out of a Jio store with a working connection in 15 minutes.
To check out tariff plans for Jio and the new devices announced by the company, check out our previous story.