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
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.
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