Bank of America Merrill Lynch, in its latest report, said that Reliance Jio Infocomm is likely to commercially start offering services on August 15, and it would offer free voice along with its data services. The brokerage firm expects Jio to come up with a differentiated offering, which will be unlimited VoLTE voice bundled with its data offering above Rs. 300 per month.
However, it added that the unlimited VoLTE voice offering would not materially impact industry voice revenues for the next 12-18 months, even as there has been a pressure on voice revenues. Bank of America Merrill Lynch said, “Vendors have indicated to us that Jio has adequate capacity (850, 1800, 2300 MHz) to offer unlimited voice without congestion for the next few years at least.”
VoLTE technology allows a telco to offer better voice quality while enabling better spectral efficiency. It also helps in lowering load on network. Reliance Jio will roll out a plan, called Freedom, to offer unlimited voice calls and SMS with unlimited data, according to a pamphlet shared by a TelecomTalk reader.
Reliance Jio, in the meantime, has extended its 90-day preview offer to HP customers, following a similar roll out for Samsung smartphone users in India. HP laptop owners are getting an invite mail from the company, which they can show to Reliance Digital stores to buy JioFi2 hotspot device at Rs 2899, which will come with bundled 90-day preview offer.
Anticipating disrupting offering by Jio, India’s top telco Bharti Airtel on Friday started offering free and unlimited voice calls at lower price points as part of two packs. The move by Airtel could be seen as a strategy to protect higher revenue paying customers.
Bharti Airtel, along with Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, has already slashed effective data rates for their customers, and are offering more data usage at old prices. While Airtel and Vodafone are offering more data to their respective prepaid customers, India’s third largest telco, Idea, has slashed the effective rate cut for both prepaid and postpaid customers.