2016 started on a promising note for all the Indian telecom consumers. When the year started, Reliance Jio was under testing phases, no Indian knows the meaning of combo offers, none of us expected that operators would star offering free unlimited calling offers, not even in our dream, that was the scenario of Indian telecom sector twelve months ago.
But, things changed quickly. Indeed, very quickly. Reliance Jio came out in the form of ‘Preview Offer’ for selected users, turned into ‘Welcome Offer,’ and that created a lot of buzz in crowded Indian telecom sector.
On a beautiful day, when Mukesh Ambani took center stage and announced his brainchild to the general public, everyone was taken by shock as he offered free lifetime voice calling, which none of us expected. His 45 minutes’ speech cost rival operators almost Rs 11,983 crores. That was the craze he built for the network with the preview offer.
Every rival operator opposed the company’s decision of offering unlimited calling, but he stood tall along with his network. Apparently, his masterclass paved the way for unlimited calling schemes. Not only that, almost all the networks started offering combo plans, which will be the future of Indian telecom sector. Yes, we are speaking about future and here comes 2017.
Now, we are into a new year- the 2017, and in the last five months, we have seen a significant change in the Indian telecom sector, much like what we Reliance did with the GSM services back in 2003. All these five months, Indian consumers have been enjoying their tariff plans cut down by their respective operators.
The competition in the Indian telecom sector is evident with the free services of Reliance Jio have extended till March 2017. There was a little scare to the new entrant from TRAI regarding the extension, but everything seems to be settled now. That said, we can expect more and more offers from the rival operators till March and beyond.
India’s largest telecom operator, Bharti Airtel recently slashed the prices of their myPlan Infinity and Vodafone did the same. So, it is quite evident that none of the top players are giving up and trying to match up Jio in every aspect. But, they aren’t in terms of voice calling. Even with its Rs. 149 plan, Jio offers free voice calls for one month. Till date, BSNL executed that for some extent by introducing unlimited calling offers from Rs. 99, but that is limited to only prepaid users and only BSNL to BSNL local calls.
Clearly, the unlimited voice calling will be the next big thing in Indian telecom sector in 2017. Nearly a month back, we reported that combo plans would be future of Indian telecom industry and we are correct by a huge margin. Every operator has released their combo plan to tackle the new entrant- Jio. But, none of them matched Jio, though. Combo plans will be another interesting thing to look after in 2017.
Consumers are the big heroes for telecom networks in India. So, the operator who looks after his consumer will be the ultimate winner end of the day. Oh, by the way, how can telecoms achieve that? By offering more and more offers to lure customers. Even a heavyweight such as Airtel is feeling the heat of Reliance Jio, we might see more and more consumer-centric offers from every network.
What next? The year has just begun, and we will see many attractive offers from every network, at least to tackle each other. So, stay tuned to Telecomtalk for all the happenings in the Indian telecom sector.