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Here's what Reliance Jio Prime may mean for users of Airtel, Vodafone and Idea's network

Image result for Here's what Reliance Jio Prime may mean for users of Airtel, Vodafone and Idea's networkIndia's big telecom companies, Bharti AirtelVodafone India and Idea Cellular, will be forced to slash data rates soon to hold on to their upper-end customers with Reliance Jio Infocomm's decision to offer unlimited voice and nearly 30 GB of data at a modest monthly charge of Rs 303 from April 1, analysts and industry experts said.

Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani on Tuesday said existing Jio customers would have to pay a nominal Rs 99 membership fee and another Rs 303 a month to avail of all the benefits of the unlimited voice and data "Happy New Year' offer.

Reliance Jio's new tariff plan: 10 things you need to know

Reliance Jio's new tariff plan: 10 things you need to know
​Services go paid starting April 1, 2017
​Membership fee for Jio Prime is Rs 99 per year
​Monthly flat charges of Rs 303
​Existing Jio users also need to enroll for Jio Prime
​Enrollment for Jio Prime begins March 1 2017
Last date of enrollment to Jio Prime is March 31 2017
​Jio Prime is only for 'existing' customers
​Voice calls remain free under Jio Prime
There is roaming charge under Jio Prime
​There's daily FUP limit of 1GB for data

Reliance Jio's new tariff plan: 10 things you need to know

The days of freebies are over for Reliance Jio customers. After six-months of its launch, Jio services will go paid soon. The company has announced a new subscription plan called Reliance Jio Prime.

Here's all you need to know about Reliance Jio Prime -- offer price, subscription benefits and more...

​Services go paid starting April 1, 2017

The days of 'free services' on Reliance Jio's network are set to get over. Come April 1 2017, and the company's data services will go paid.

​Membership fee for Jio Prime is Rs 99 per year

Reliance Jio's new membership plan is called Jio Prime. The membership fees for Jio Prime is Rs 99 per year.

​Monthly flat charges of Rs 303

Jio Prime Members can continue to enjoy the benefits of the company's 'Happy New Year' plan at an introductory price of Rs 303 per month.

Prime users can continue to enjoy these 'unlimited benefits' until March 31, 2018. These include company's entire range of media services, which includes JioTV, JioMusic, JioMags, Jio Cinema and JioXpressNews.

​Existing Jio users also need to enroll for Jio Prime

Unlike the 'Happy New Year' offer, where all the users of the inaugural offer (Welcome offer) were automatically moved to the new offer, users here need to subscribe to the new plan.

This means that all existing users of Reliance Jio need to subscribe to Jio Prime.

​Enrollment for Jio Prime begins March 1 2017

Jio Prime membership programme will open from March 1.

According to the company, more value plans will be announced for Jio Prime members soon and details will be provided on My Jio app.

Jio Prime members will also benefit from a line up of deals from Jio and its partners.

Last date of enrollment to Jio Prime is March 31 2017

The last date to join Jio Prime is March 31 2017. Existing users can enroll via MyJio app or log into the company’s website.

Users can also visit Jio stores to enroll themselves for Jio Prime membership.

​Jio Prime is only for 'existing' customers

The Jio Prime scheme is for the company's existing customers as well as all those who enroll for the plan before March 31 2017.

"This is a limited time opportunity that we are launching only for our customers," said Mukesh Ambani.

​Voice calls remain free under Jio Prime

As announced during the launch of the Jio services in September 2016, the voice calls (domestic) made to any network continue to remain free.

There is roaming charge under Jio Prime

There will also be no roaming charges on Reliance Jio network.

​There's daily FUP limit of 1GB for data

The daily FUP limit of 1GB data for users too stays. Post 1GB, users can browse unlimited data at 128 kbps.
Reliance Jio's new tariff plan: 10 things you need to know
​Services go paid starting April 1, 2017
​Membership fee for Jio Prime is Rs 99 per year
​Monthly flat charges of Rs 303
​Existing Jio users also need to enroll for Jio Prime
​Enrollment for Jio Prime begins March 1 2017
Last date of enrollment to Jio Prime is March 31 2017
​Jio Prime is only for 'existing' customers
​Voice calls remain free under Jio Prime
There is roaming charge under Jio Prime
​There's daily FUP limit of 1GB for data

Jio's latest move, they said, is clearly aimed at luring Airtel, Vodafone and Idea's top-end customers, among whom a section is reckoned to be already using Jio as a second SIM. "Holding on to these upper-end customers will be pivotal for the big three to remain profitable in the coming quarters as these users generate over 60% of their revenues," a senior industry executive, who did not wish to be named, told ET.

Brokerage Sanford Bernstain said Bharti Airtel is likely to have the least number of defectors because of its national 4G coverage and a premium brand position. "Idea, with no 4G coverage in Delhi and restricted 4G spectrum in Mumbai, is likely to see the highest rate of defection. We expect Vodafone to be somewhere in the middle," the house said.

The existing players say they are aware that desperate remedies by way of steep data rate cuts to hold on to top-end subscribers could come at a huge cost for the incumbents. "Any effort to match Jio's tariffs could progressively shave off nearly 40-50% of the revenue that Airtel, Vodafone and Idea typically generate from upper-tier customers, which would hit the overall ARPU and hurt both top-line and bottom-line," said the executive of a leading telco.

According to industry experts, upper-end customers on an average generate monthly ARPUs in the Rs 700-1,000 range, and that could fall sharply if the incumbent biggies are forced to reduce the price points of their heavy data packs.


Incumbent carriers could end up "paying a heavy price" for not doing enough to ringfence their high-end customers since Jio's entry last September, the experts said. "Most have essentially focused on holding on to prepaid users by offering discounts, instead of taking proactive steps to retain top-end users, who might now find Jio's offer of nearly 30 GB of 4G data with unlimited voice calling at Rs 303/month super enticing."

Rajan Mathews, director general of the Cellular Operators Association of India, agreed that incumbents "would definitely come up with competing price points to hold on to their valued, high-end customers," but added that Jio's decision to charge "is bound to bring a sense of relief " to the sector as the services will not be free anymore from April.Nitin Soni, director at rating agency Fitch, earlier told ET that he expected incumbents' data revenue per user to shrink 15-20% over 12 months, post Jio's launch. Experts, in fact, expect top incumbent carriers to see a 25% fall in data realisations.


Bank of America Merrill Lynch has a contrarian view. "If Jio starts charging Rs 303 a month, such offers may not be dilutive for Bharti/Idea as their average ARPU is below Rs 200," it said. The brokerage said Jio's offer "might lead to some traffic moving back to top telcos", adding that it is "not overly worried" about Jio's stated ability to offer 20% discount on existing tariffs as "top telcos may have many offers which they do not even publicise and may even offer custom-made packages". It says high-end customers are unlikely to switch (to Jio) on the basis of a 20% discount as "quality of network and service is important".

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