Caution! Making Voice Calls From Reliance Jio Won’t Be Free Anymore

Ruben Fields
October 10, 2019

In the statement, Jio said the charge will remain in place till the time telecom operators are required to pay rivals for mobile phone calls made by their users to other mobile operators' network. Airtel has expressed unhappiness over the move calling it as pressure tactic by Jio to reduce interconnection charges.

What is interconnect usage charges? .

Justifying its decision, Reliance Jio announced that it has been "compelled" to recover Interconnect Usage Charge (IUC) from its customers for non-Jio mobile calls.

Why is Reliance Jio opposing IUC? Also, there are no changes to the existing Jio plans.

"Reliance Jio's tariff hike is prima facie positive for the industry as it enables other operators to raise tariffs too.Other operators may see a drop in calls terminating on their networks, but the tariff hike should be able to compensate for it well".

So far, in the last three years Jio claims to have paid almost Rs 13,500 crore as NET IUC charges to other operators.

"Presently, this date is January 1, 2020".

Citing such traffic asymmetry as the only ground in the recently floated consultation paper, TRAI has reopened the closed chapter on IUC, which has already been made zero with effect from 1st January 2020 by amendment to IUC Regulations.

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"Jio network receives 25 to 30 crore missed calls on a daily basis", it added.

Reliance Jio, which was launched in September 2016, became the nation's top telecom operator after free calls and cheap data lured millions of users and left rivals struggling under mounting debt.

Reliance Jio, in an official announcement, says that it had subsidized the IUC charge for users and has been paying it themselves (having paid more than 13,000 crores over the past two years), but is now abolishing this practice for one reason and that's TRAI. Even rival telecom operators like Airtel and Vodafone could take some steps to recover costs. In 2017, TRAI had slashed the IUC to 6 paise per minute.

The move "seems like a big deal, insofar as the market has been waiting for Jio to move from a land grabber to focusing on profitable growth", Chris Lane, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein said in a note.

"Both these have not materialised".

'Era of Freebies Drawing to a Close' "Customers need to also realise that the era of freebies and unsustainable call rates is finally drawing to a close, and so, they will have to shell out a little more for mobile phone services".

This huge missed call phenomena converts the incoming calls to Jio into outgoing calls from Jio to other operators. Accordingly, our offerings are completely transparent, affordable and cater to a cross section of society and consumers with varying consumption needs via multiple technologies 2G, 3G & 4G.

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