Reliance Jio, on Wednesday this week, made a massive move in the telecom industry which shook everyone from the rival telecom operators to the subscribers. This move was not expected by anyone in the industry, let alone the subscribers. The Mukesh Ambani led telecom operator announced that it would be charging 6 paise per minute from its subscribers on all the outgoing calls being made to the other networks like that of Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and BSNL. This has led some of the subscribers to believe that the other operators might make the same move. However, that is not the case as we have received confirmation from one of the other major operator, Vodafone Idea, about whether or not it would bring a 6 paise per minute IUC charge for the subscribers and it seems that it will not bring any such charges. Here are the details.
Vodafone Steers Clear of IUC Charges for Subscribers
Vodafone in a tweet today morning has stated, “Relax, there will be no charges on Vodafone calls to other networks. So keep enjoying what we promised you - truly free calls on Vodafone unlimited plans.” The tweet is accompanied by a GIF that reads “Free Means Free” this means that Vodafone subscribers can be relieved about not paying any additional charges for the calls that they make to other networks. The subscribers of Idea will also be under this umbrella, and even they would not have to pay any additional charges in the name of IUC to make calls to other networks. This means that while calling from Reliance Jio to Vodafone or Idea network would incur you 6 paise per minute, but doing the opposite, calling from a Vodafone or Idea SIM to Reliance Jio would not cost you anything.
The IUC Row Between Reliance Jio and Other Telcos
It is worth noting that the issue of the newly introduced 6 paise per minute charge for subscribers lies actually in the feud which has been going on between the Mukesh Ambani led telecom operator, Reliance Jio and other private telcos. The issue first sparked in the industry when Reliance Jio lowered its outgoing call ringing time for other networks down to 20 seconds. This meant that subscribers who dialled numbers from Reliance Jio to other networks would hear the ring for only 20 seconds, thus translating to an increased number of callbacks from the other networks. This in return, would increase the payout for Reliance Jio as more calls would be incoming and terminating on its network.
Reliance Jio Starts Charging IUC from Subscribers
Currently, the situation is such that the other private telecom operators like Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea are the net IUC gainers because most of the calls are being made from Reliance Jio’s network and these calls end on the other networks. Now while the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has charted out a path towards zero IUC which was expected to come in effect on January 1, 2020, Reliance Jio has cut corners by charging the IUC from its subscribers on the calls being made to other networks.
It is also noteworthy that IUC is something that the telecom operators sort between themselves at the end of the month according to the Trai’s definition depending on the number of minutes on calls that a particular operator had to carry on its network coming from a different network. Currently, Reliance Jio was spending around Rs 3,500 crore annually on its IUC payouts, however, with the IUC costs being saved now the telecom operator will save this amount in its balance sheets.