Jio May Sur­prise Mar­ket with 50p/MB Data Of­fer

Telco’s of­fer­ing to be sub­stan­tially lower than 4 p/10 kb be­ing charged by play­ers such as Air­tel, Voda

The Economic Times - - Companies -

Dan­ish Khan & Mun­tazir Ab­bas

New Delhi: Re­liance Jio In­fo­comm could well stun the mar­ket, of­fer­ing 0.5 paisa per 10 kb of data us­age, which is sub­stan­tially lower than the 4 paisa per 10 kb data be­ing charged by In­dia’s top tel­cos Bharti Air­tel, Voda­fone In­dia, Idea Cel­lu­lar.

Ac­cord­ing to SIM card kits avail­able in Re­liance Dig­i­tal Xpress stores across Delhi, Jio’s base tar­iff in­cludes lo­cal and STD call at 2 paisa per sec­ond, .₹ 1 per SMS and .₹ 5 for in­ter­na­tional SMS — com­pa­ra­ble with ex­ist­ing mar­ket rates. It also in­cludes 5 paisa per sec­ond for a video call. To be sure, the SIM card kit is not meant for com­mer­cial sale, but gives an idea of what the rates could be like. A con­sumer roughly needs around 1 MB to stream an au­dio song, and around 440 MB for stream­ing a one-hour stan­dard def­i­ni­tion video on Youtube.

The data tar­iff on the SIM kit is a base tar­iff and is dif­fer­ent from data packs avail­able in the mar­ket. The base data tar­iff comes into play when a user hasn’t sub­scribed to a data pack for ac­cess­ing data ser­vices. Mar­ket leader Air­tel of­fers a 1 GB 4G/3G data pack for .₹ 259 with 28 days va­lid­ity, while Voda­fone’s sim­i­lar pack is priced at .₹ 257.

Ex­ec­u­tives at a num­ber of Re­liance Dig­i­tal Xpress stores across Delhi con­firmed re­ceiv­ing the first lot of 4G SIM cards, be­sides LYF-branded smart­phones. “We have re­ceived Jio SIM cards but have not got any in­struc­tions from the com­pany to sell them to pub­lic al­though the ser­vices are open for re­tail staff only, as a part of net­work trial,” one of the Re­liance Dig­i­tal Xpress store man­agers in south Delhi told ET. Re­liance Jio de­clined to com­ment on the spe­cific plans.

Jio has al­ready made fourth-gen­er­a­tion (4G) ser­vices avail­able for em­ploy­ees and re­tail part­ners in the lead up to a much-an­tic­i­pated com­mer­cial launch. A soft launch is ex­pected later this month though a full blown com­mer­cial launch is ex­pected by the year end, which is ex­pected to trig­ger an in­tense tar­iff war in an al­ready com­pet­i­tive sec­tor, say an­a­lysts.

STORE MAN­AGER

Ro­han Dhamija, part­ner and head for In­dia and South Asia at telecom con­sult­ing firm Analysys Ma­son, said while Jio’s cost per GB could be lower than some in­cum­bents due to some opex fac­tors, the pric­ing re­vealed on the SIM cards could be pro­mo­tional ones. “How­ever, it (Jio’s cost per GB) wouldn’t be that much lower that it can sup­port this kind of tar­iff. If this 0.5 paisa per 10 Kb tar­iff is ac­cu­rate, then it is prob­a­bly a pro­mo­tional in­tro­duc­tory tar­iff,” Dhamija said.

Ac­cord­ing to Dig­i­tal Xpress sales ex­ec­u­tives at three lo­ca­tions in Delhi, the telco has planned to of­fer 4,500 min­utes of voice calls, 3,000 text mes­sages and 75GB data with a va­lid­ity of three months at just .₹ 200.

Re­liance Dig­i­tal Xpress

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