When Jio’s much-anticipated launch is expected on August 15, there are still apprehensions about the service, especially if it’s launching only for the retail customers or for all. In order to check the ground reality, Telecom Talk visited Reliance Digital, Digital Mini and other retail platforms of Reliance across Kolkata. We visited stores at Barrackpore, Dum Dum, Sealdah, Diamond Plaza mall, VIP Road, Howrah, and Barasat.
Our visits revealed that the stores have already started offering SIM cards with Jio preview offer along with the LYF device purchases. They now get a stock of 750-1500 SIM cards for sales, which wasn’t existing two weeks ago. The executives at the stores confirmed that the storing/stocking of SIM cards has started this week. “The SIM cards are supplied to all Reliance retail platforms across the country,” said an executive, who wished to remain unnamed.
However, the executives are unsure of whether the SIM cards would be sold with some partner bands via the existing model of preview offer. In terms of Jio Mi-Fi devices, a store manager said that the devices are expected to reach in the store by the first week of August. “The price details of devices are not available. However, you can expect Rs. 2000-2500 per unit. Also, the prices could be much lower for postpaid customers who will buy new connections during the launch,” he added.
Meanwhile, several retailers have added that the SIM cards are distributed to only those retailers who sell LYF devices. Also, a few have not received their retailer SIM cards and are still unaware of the SIM activation process.
Other data from the import tracker Zauba shows that the operator has imported almost 15 lakhs SIM cards from 2-16 July 2016. Although the figure is higher than the records of the previous months, the count is too less for a massive pan India commercial roll out. This hints that the operator may only reveal the data plans for those customers who are availing free benefits under Jio preview offer. Jio may not favor losing its preview offer customers, who are already uncertain about their data plans once the preview offer ends.
Jio is also pacing up by targeting to launch MNP services, IPTV, etc. to make the launch more attractive. Meanwhile, the competitors such as Bharti Airtel or Idea have added up to 67% more data in new or existing packs.