Reliance Jio is trying every possible way to convince customers that the IUC Top-Up vouchers it introduced are because of the incumbent telcos. Last week, Jio trolled Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea on social media sites saying that it's the latter two who are responsible for the introduction of IUC vouchers. Reliance Jio is the lone LTE-only operator in India, but Vodafone Idea and Airtel are GSM operators with close to 70% of subscriber still on 2G and 3G networks. Reliance Jio is now defending its decision of introducing IUC charges by bringing Trai data into the picture. According to the Trai data available for the month of June 2019, Reliance Jio customers make only 200 minutes of voice calls to other networks every month on average, which brings the cost to Rs 12. The calculation is made on the 6 paise per minute, and for 200 minutes, users will be charged Rs 12 from Reliance Jio which does not seem to be a big deal.
Reliance Jio Brings Trai Data into Picture to Defend IUC Top-Up Vouchers Introduction
Reliance Jio disrupted the market back in 2016 when it grandly entered the Indian telecom market. Even before the commercial launch in September 2016, the company had a decent amount of subscribers under its belt who were part of the testing programme. In just 170 days, Reliance Jio managed to add 100 million subscribers and it's now the leading telecom service provider with over 340 million users.
But as everyone expected, Reliance Jio has started charging from its users, but in a rather unusual way. Jio said that the voice calls on its network would be free for lifetime, but because of the Interconnect Usage Charges which are in place, the Mukesh Ambani-led telco had to change its decision. Last week, Jio said it would start charging 6 paise per minute from customers who make outgoing voice calls to other networks.
This move did not go well with Jio customers as they sensed a broken promise of lifetime free voice calls. There's a reason behind Jio imposing charges on customers, but the subscribers will never understand the bigger picture. Nevertheless, Jio is trying its best to make its customers understand that IUC is being charged by other telecom service providers and it will go away once Trai brings the IUC to Zero.
In its new move, Reliance Jio says its customers make only 200 minutes of outgoing voice calls to other networks on average every month. And at 6 paise per minute IUC, 200 minutes is equal to Rs 12. Essentially, Reliance Jio says customers will have to pay only a minimal extra amount every month. But the usage varies with each customer, which the company has missed here. One Jio customer may consume over 3000 minutes of outgoing voice calls to other networks, while another may just less than 100 minutes.
Reliance Jio No Longer Offering Full Talk Time Benefit
In other news, right after the introduction of IUC Top-Up vouchers, Reliance Jio has removed the full talk time benefit. For example, Jio used to offer Rs 10 talk time even with its Rs 10 recharge, but now, the same plan is providing a user Rs 7.47 talk time. The Rs 1,000 Top-Up plan from Jio is currently shipping with Rs 844.46 of talk time. At the moment, it's unknown why Jio has made this move, but generally, these are the same IUC Top-Up vouchers introduced by the company a few days ago. If Reliance Jio had offered the same full talk time benefit of Rs 10 for Rs 10 recharge, then customers would've received more IUC minutes every recharge.