Why I Won’t Get a Jio 4G Sim

As I was checking my daily dose of tech news, I came to know about Mukesh Ambani’s announcement, where he said that Reliance Jio 4G services will be open to public from September 5, 2016. Anyone who buys the sim after September 5th will be able to use unlimited 4G data and make free voice calls (VoLTE) until December 31, 2016.

This is a dream come true for most of us, as we know how much of our salary and pocket money goes to buying expensive 3G packs. I was more tempted to go for the Jio sim as I have already used it for a couple of days.

A couple of weeks back, my friend got a Jio sim through the Samsung-Jio preview offer and the speed test results blew us away. We got data speed as high as 57 Mbps, which was off the charts.

My friend created a hotspot, and four of us used uninterrupted data during our recent trip to Visakhapatnam. It was paradise.

But, later today when I read an article in The Hindu said

“According to filings at the Commerce Ministry, Jio has more than Rs. 32,500 crore ($4.9 billion) of long-term debt, and other liabilities topping Rs. 58,000 crore, as of March. In addition, Reliance has spent over Rs. 29,000 crore on Jio and is expected to invest more — all adding up to more than what it has been spending on its core refining and petrochemicals business.”

Why does a company that is known for being a petroleum giant bet so much money on the Telecom sector, and that too investing so much money on providing high speed internet services.

The economy is shifting to become a data-based economy from being an oil-based economy.

Next to oil and natural gas, the most consumed resource is the internet. Like an inevitable rise in vehicles fuelling transportation, mobile devices have transformed the way we do business, communicate with our peers, and lead our daily lives. According to an article in The Hindu, Mr. Mukesh Ambani said

“For Reliance… data is the new oil, and intelligent data is the new petrol,”

With 3 months unlimited data, users will stick to the Jio and continue to use it as their preferred network considering the free voice calls, free roaming, and data packs that cost one-tenth when compared to other telco operators.

This will increase our data consumption many folds.

Result?

Our data consumption pattern will be used for big data analytics to analyse our digital footprints such as our usage behaviour, purchase pattern, etc.

They can even track the type of songs you like, the type of movies you’d like to watch — the scenes you skip, part of the movie you watch more than once ;)

This data can be used to place relevant ads, attractive offers, etc. and can also be sold to companies who would want to understand user behaviour to promote their products or services.

As end users, we will be bombarded with more ads and offers, thereby increasing our consumption of various goods and services.

A few days back , we got so disappointed when WhatsApp announced a change in their privacy policy. But, there are similar things happening with all the other services. With Jio, we at least have an idea of how they might use our data. But, with other services, we’re mostly kept in the dark.

I am not trying to be a rebel here. If a business offers something for a very “too-good-to-be-true” price, they will have to come up with a revenue model to make money. In this case, it will be “big data” from a population as huge as India.

By using Facebook, WhatsApp, GMail, and other services, I’ve already shared enough data with most of the companies in my 9 years of digital life. (I’ve been using the internet since 2007).

I do not intend to share any more data (I can’t say that for sure though)and thus I won’t be using Reliance Jio.