Jio's Happy New Year offer, by extending all its free benefits to March 31, has queered the pitch for incumbents massively
After the initial shock of the announcement of free services by Jio on October 8, it was just beginning to look like the key incumbent competitors, namely, Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea, had weathered the storm remarkably well. While they had all taken small steps to manage the aftermath of the Jio offer, the consensus view was they had managed to come through with relatively little damage. Airtel in fact grew since the announcement, though value growth lagged numbers growth.
Today's extension of Welcome Offer by Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani will truly set the cat among the pigeons. Not only does this mean that the period of free calls and data services will run to 6 months from its first announcement, it will also start making an impact on a user base that seemed to be either content with inertia, or waiting to see their existing operators come back with matching offers.
The main reason being ascribed to Jio's extension of the offer, has officially been the less than quality services users got, blamed on the non-cooperation of incumbents. What was left unsaid was that Jio is probably targeting a subscriber base closer to 100 million, than the 53 million it claims to have garnered till now.
And there is absolutely no doubt, that the next 50 million subscribers will be shaken out from the subscriber tress of the incumbents. The incumbents, who were keeping their powder dry till the time Jio starts charging for its services, are finally faced with a Hobson's choice. Try and fight 'free' for the next 4 months, or take the tough call on wait out yet another period when they might lose too much to make the fight worthwhile in 4 months.
Yes, Jio aims to bridge digital bridge but it needs to improve its connectivity and after sales service. Even the data speed is not consistent as it varies between 0.4 MBPS to 5 MBPS.
We set off to get feedback from Jio users and sellers at Reliance Digital stores. Here is what we heard.
Reliance Jio yesterday announced the Happy New Year Offer extending its free services till 31st March 2017.
Keeping in view, disproportionately use of data by some users under Welcome offer, Jio has capped the high-speed-data limit to 1 GB per day per user.
The Jio users continue to get free unlimited voice and data till 31st December 2016.
oor speeds, regular call drops, and poor service are to be blamed for continuous decline in growth.
To be precise, Jio wants to reach up to 80 percent of India's population in order to provide high-speed internet, free calls and SMS.
For manufacturing these feature phones, Reliance Jio is said to be working with Lava International and Chinese original equipment maker.
Jio's unique welcome scheme which gives users free access to voice and data till December 31, 2016, quickly built up a tremendous fan following and also invited protests from fellow operators.
Mukesh Ambani described the situation as "the newbie being ragged by the big boys".
Further, last week reports suggested that if you are planning to enroll to this Welcome Offer then you need to do it before December 3rd, 2016.