Jio’s Pace of Enrolment Set a World Record
The latest telecom operator in India, Reliance Jio Infocomm was delighted to inform that its subscriber base exceeded 16 million customers within a month of its launch. The pace of enrolment set a world record. Jio attained this growth faster than any other telecom operator or startup in the world, including the likes of Facebook, Whatsapp, and Skype.
- Jio made its first investment in the telecom business in the year 2010.
- Approximately 1.5 lakh crore was invested to launch the 4G service.
- The company holds the largest spectrum footprint in the country.
- Through its Rs. 499 plan, Jio has targeted high revenue customers from incumbents. It’s lowest package is priced at Rs. 149.
- Under the welcome offer, its services are free until 31st Dec.
- It is the only 4G operator that does not hold 2G and 3G spectrum.
Jio commenced operations for its employees and its partners late December ’15, and accordingly rolled out its preview offer giving voice and data services for free for three months for owners of the sister company Reliance Retail’s LYF branded phones. Jio and Reliance Retail are parts of Reliance Industries. This offer was then extended to all smartphone users, before Jio initiated commercial services on September 5 with a ‘welcome offer’. It offered free voice and data till the end of this year. All those under the preview offer scheme have been moved to the ‘welcome offer’. The real challenge will be during next year, once Jio starts charging for its services. Yet, the plans announced had offered voice free for life with data at a fifth of market rates.
As a result, rivals operators, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular have announced their own plans, cutting data rates, with some plans offering voice free as well. Furthermore, they have also beefed up their own 4G spectrum holdings to better take on Jio in the market.
Jio seems to have made a strong start and people were utilizing its services to the fullest. According to Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Industries chairman, Jio has been built to entitle every Indian with the power of data and he is overwhelmed to see such huge customer response to Jio. The initial response had crossed his expectations by a “factor of 100”. Ambani has set Jio’s executives a target of adding 100 million subscribers in the shortest time possible, but hasn’t given a timeline.
At present, market leader Airtel has more than 257 million users; next in line is Vodafone with more than 200 million and Idea, nearly 177 million. It has also mentioned that it has introduced Aadhaar-based paperless Jio SIM activation all over 3,100 cities and towns, which facilitates a customer to execute the SIM activation process in a matter of minutes, with only an Aadhaar number. This process will be expanded across the country and fully stabilized for satisfactory on-boarding experience in the next few weeks.
In other news, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio mentioned that would offer free voice calls, up to 20GB data and unlimited SMS for one year worth Rs 18,000 to all new iPhone users on its network, Airtel too joined the race and will offer iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus users 10 GB free 4G/3G data per month for one year with any Airtel Infinity post-paid plan. The Jio offer is not limited only to newly launched iPhone 7 and 7-Plus and would also be valid on iPhone 6, 6-Plus, 6S-Plus, SE.