Whether it is good or bad, Reliance Jio is making headlines since its tariff plan has been announced and has shaken the telecom industry completely.
To recall, Reliance Jio has started its 4G services on September 5, 2016, with Jio Welcome offer which gave unlimited data, voice and video calls and messaging access for the first three months. After that, the Welcome Offer was replaced by the Happy New Year offer and gave same offers including free voice calls, video calling, messaging and data. The free services offered by the company were supposed to end on April 1, 2017.
But on March 31, 2017, the telco announced the new " Summer Surprise" offer for its JIO PRIME members in which the company offers three months free services to its Prime Members if they make their first paid recharge prior to April 15 using Jio's Rs. 303 plan (or any higher value plan). The paid tariff plan will be applied only in July after the expiry of the complimentary service.
The company has also extended its Prime membership services until April 15.
Summer Surprise Offer canceled
But now the situation has been changed as Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has advised, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio to withdraw its new "Summer Surprise" offer.
According to a press statement by the company, "Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has advised Jio to withdraw the 3 months complimentary benefits of JIO SUMMER SURPRISE." Adding that "it is in the process of fully complying with the regulator's advice. The offer will be withdrawn over the next few days."
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The company also said that "all customers who have subscribed to JIO SUMMER SURPRISE offer prior to its discontinuation will remain eligible for the offer.
But what does it means for consumers and why did telecom regulator advise the operator to do so?
Impact on Consumers
As the company mentioned in its press statement, all customers who have subscribed to the plan prior to its discontinuation will remain eligible for the offer.
This means if any user had paid Rs. 99 for Prime membership and made a recharge of Rs. 303 or higher value, then the person will get free services for the next three months. But in case you are waiting until the April 15 deadline, then you cannot avail these services, but you'll get 1GB data per day with Rs. 303.
Meanwhile, the company also said that over 72 million Jio customers have signed up for Jio Prime membership as on March 31, (the earlier deadline for Prime membership).'
Why did the regulator want Jio to withdraw this offer?
As we all that ever since the Jio announced its services, it has shaken the whole industry, and incumbents telcos also appealed to the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) against Trai's clean chit to Jio's free offers.
TDSAT also asked the regulator to clarify whether Reliance Jio had informed it and its subscribers of the two free offers - Jio Welcome Offer and Happy New Offer - being "distinct".
Other issues for clarification include whether the provision of the two offers as well as, their implementation were in accordance with Telecom Tariff Order and Telecom Consumers Protection Regulation.
The Government has also stepped in the tussle between the telecom industry and the regulator over the regulator allowing Reliance Jio with its predatory offers to grab market share, leading them to heavy financial losses.
Vodafone has also moved the Delhi High Court against TRAI with the same complaint of allowing a violation of tariff orders.
Jio has 72million Prime users already
However, a recent projection by Moody's Investor Service said Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio) could generate revenues of Rs. 21,300 crore for the current fiscal ending March 2018. It added that enrolling 72 million paying subscribers for its telecom services is credit positive.