Reliance Jio did exactly what it was expected to do. Infact it did more than that even before its formal operations begin. All other telecos are now up in arms against the Mukesh Ambani led company accusing it of ill-practices (they almost said cheating).
So let’s examine the case first
Reliance Jio is now offering almost full fledged services. Initially, it was allowing only its employees and their near and dear ones to test its network but now it is reportedly offering SIM to almost everyone for free. With free data and voice offers for three months, Reliance Jio has managed to create a beeline in front of its stores. Reliance Jio might have a healthy user base even before its services roll out across India.
So what’s wrong in that?
Other telecos complaining that Reliance Jio is deliberately not launching its services and in the name of testing, it is offering full fledged services. With free services, it has stooped to predatory pricing to get users which would not have been possible had it formally launched it services. After formal roll out of its 4G services, TRAI would not let allow Reliance Jio to offer free services and the company could have been fined by the Competition Commission. Also, the free services are allegedly putting more pressure on existing telecos’ network which are anyway struggling with public perception owing to call drops and poor connectivity.
As a reactionary measure, leading telecos including Airtel, Vodafone and Idea have recently slashed their data prices and introduced attractive offers.
But the current telecos are forgetting the root cause of subscribers frustration. They should have strengthen their network much earlier. For years, they have concentrated on metros and bigger towns; these days even in these areas call drops are irritating many.
Currently, the Reliance Jio vs others issue has reached PMO. It would be interesting to see how things pan out in future and what current operators would do once Jio launches its 4G services.