A couple of days after the latest announcement by its Chairman, Mukesh Ambani, we set out to check the response of users and some sellers to the latest. Besides the obvious response to something that is free, what surprised us was the sheer happiness with getting such a service with the convenience the eKYC process has brought in. Having seen it first hand, we have to say, we, and a few analysts might just be underestimating the possible long term impact of this on usage and other consumption habits.
For users at least, it is an obvious yes to the move.
For user Chitra, the move made sense as her experience, particularly with calling on the Jio sim, has been ‘pathetic’. However, she was happy with her data speeds, and made it clear that she was a customer for good, as and when Jio went pay.
Shahnawaz, an Uber driver we used who also had a Jio phone, had the same issue, though he didn’t worry too much about the voice issues, since he had a dual sim phone with an Idea connection too. By moving his data requirements completely to Jio, he had seen some real savings, what with the constant use of Maps on the Uber app. Besides that, he has also tried out the Jio apps, especially Jio cinema.
Another two students who had activated their Sim just a day back too were thrilled with the experience, and cited the offer as their single biggest reason to splurge on a smartphone over Rs 15,000.
For sellers though, it remains a mixed bag. For starters, they are almost always busy, with a perennial rush of people keen to get a sim. On the other hand, like the Modi government’s demonetisation move, they are clearly looking to better times in the long term, with a strong Jio base created in front of their eyes. The sellers we spoke to all mentioned this, and how, with everyone on a pre-paid connection, they looked forward to some great schemes from Jio for incentivising them too, when the service goes pay. On services like Jio mifi, the response was mixed, with sellers quoting recurring customer issues with the product.
With the new 1 GB limit on daily usage, only the worst of the abuse should come to a halt, with all the people spoken to more than happy with the limit, as long as it assured them better speeds.
All in all, exciting times just got closer, for data consumption in India. Content creators, publishers, and now digital businesses have no reason to hold back, the time to scale up has clearly arrived.