Reliance Jio, the Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries Limited, or RIL’s venture to tap into the burgeoning Indian market for high-speed 4G LTE data network and reap dividends, has received a fillip after Mukesh Ambani, the Chairman and CEO of RIL, announced its decision to extend the Jio‘Welcome’ Offer by 3 months till 31 March 2017. The original plan was to end all free data, calling and app usage on 31 December 2016. However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had asked RIL to end all Jio free welcome offers on December 3. This new ‘Happy New Year’ offer has been announced despite that ruling.
Mr Ambani addressed all employees and customers via live video streaming and declared that in under three months, Reliance Jio had become the fastest growing technology company in the world, surpassing global tech giants and startups. “Since its birth Jio has grown faster that Facebook, Whatsapp and Skype,” Ambani said, thanking Indians and all users. Among a host of other announcements, the RIL head also stated that RIL-Jiohad crossed 50 million users,citing eKYC (Electronic Know-Your-Customer) records. The eKYC feature has enabled six lakh customers to sign up every single day over the past six months, besides lettingJio customers use 25 times more data than the average broadband customer.
For comparison, it had taken rival telecom giant Airtel 12 years to reach and sign up 50 million subscribers; Vodafone and Idea took 13 years each. RIL-Jio had commercially launched its services on September 5, offering unlimited access to HD voice calls on Jio-eligible VoLTE (Voice-over-LTE) phones, messaging, video calls, 4G data along with full access to Jio’s suite of apps.
A new digital payment appcalled JioMoney was also announced. Apps like these enable every Indian to have a ‘digital ATM’ in their pockets. JioMoney will compete against rival companies like PayTm in the growing cashless-transaction market that has emerged after demonetisation. The statement announced,” JioMoney will enable low-value, high-volume transactions, merchants, especially small merchants, who are important components of the economy to fuel their transactions.Jio is working to empower Indian merchants by building a digital retail ecosystem which we are calling JioMoney Merchant Solutions.”
On a side note,the Reliance Jio ‘Happy New Year’ plan will come with a FUP (Fair Usage Policy) which will cap data usage for existing Reliance Jio customers at 1 GB per SIM per day. The Reliance Jio Happy New Year offer will be free for all customers till March 31, 2017.