Reliance Jio removed the interconnect usage charges (IUC) on January 1, making all the plans offer unlimited voice calling. Alongside that, Jio customers will no longer be charged six paise per minute for making voice calls to other networks. The only weakness Jio had since its inception was the FUP limitation on non-Jio calls which has been removed now. Over the last few months, Reliance Jio saw its monthly subscriber additions decline. In September and October 2020, Reliance Jio added less than half subscribers of Bharti Airtel. If Airtel added 3.6 million subscribers, Jio managed to add just around 1.6 million users, something which the telco must be worried about. Will the removal of IUC help Jio in getting back to the track?
Reliance Jio Subscriber Addition Slows Down in Recent Times
According to the data released by Trai, Reliance Jio added just 1.46 million new users whereas its direct rival Airtel grabbed 3.77 million new users in the month of September. In October 2020, Airtel added 3.67 million new users, while 2.65 million users onboarded Reliance Jio's network. Since launching commercial services back in September 2016, the Mukesh Ambani-led telco added over six million users every month, but the slow down in recent times must be worrying the telecom operator.
The recent farmers' protest should also be worrying Reliance Jio at the moment. Farmers in Punjab are going against Reliance Jio and are also moving out of the telco through MNP. Also, farmers are cutting the power supply to Jio's towers in Punjab.
Amidst all this chaos, Reliance Jio removed the interconnect usage charges. As mentioned above, the only drawback Jio had over the last one year was the limitation on non-Jio voice calls. When Jio implemented the off-net call charges in October 2019, the subscriber additions of the telco slowed down from around nine million per month to 5.8 million per month.
Will the removal of IUC allow Reliance Jio to get back on track in January 2021? Comment down your thoughts below.