Amassing 52 million subscribers in less than three months, Reliance Jio chief Mukesh Ambani today announced extension of free voice and data offer for existing and new consumers till March 31.
Reliance Jio, he said, is the fastest-growing technology company in the world.
“In the first 3 months, Jio has grown faster than Facebook, WhatsApp or Skype,” Ambani said.
“Starting December 4, 2016, every new Jio user will get Jio’s data, voice, video and the full bouquet of Jio applications absolutely free till March 31, 2017,” he said, adding that the ‘Jio Happy New Year Offer’ will also be extended to existing customers on current SIMs.
Ambani, Reliance Industries Chairman, in September, had stormed into the telecom business announcing free voice and data till December-end.
On an average, a Jio customer is using 25 times more data than the average Indian broadband user, he said, adding that Jio has signed up over 6 lakh customers every single day for the past 3 months.
Ambani has accused incumbent operators like Bharti Airtel of anti-competitive behaviour by delaying providing points of interconnection that had led to blocking of nearly 900 crore voice calls from Jio to other networks.
“Benefits of Jio’s superior technology have been denied to customers due to anti-competitive behaviour of incumbent operators,” he said further, adding that the call block rate has come down to nearly 20 per cent as of yesterday from over 90 per cent.
Ambani, whose company had a bitter war of words with dominant incumbent telecom operators like Bharti Airtel over providing points of interconnection, said lack of support from existing operators had resulted in nearly 900 crore voice calls to other networks being blocked.
“The benefits of Jio’s superior voice technology have been denied to Indian customers due to such anti-competitive behaviour of incumbent operators,” he said, adding that because of intervention of authorities, the call block rate has come down to nearly 20 per cent as of yesterday from over 90 per cent.
“We are working with all our fellow operators to ensure that in coming weeks, this will come below the specified grade of service, which is 0.2 per cent,” he said.
Stating that Jio’s network is built for capacity and speed, he said few issues with data speeds were faced on the network because of 50 million customers taking full advantage of the free welcome offer. About 8 per cent of Jio towers have experienced congestion due to abnormally high data usage and work is on to de-congest these.
“On the whole, Jio is not only delivering 4 times more data than all other Indian telecom operators combined, but also much faster throughputs than any other mobile network in India,” he said.
With the imminent availability of sufficient points of interconnect from other operators over coming weeks, Jio customers will be able to experience a flawless voice experience, he asserted.
Ambani said that on average, a Jio customer is using 25 times more data than the average Indian broadband user. “A Jio customer today is consuming data on par with, and in many cases more than, sophisticated users anywhere in the world.”
Jio has signed up over 6 lakh customers every single day for the past three months because of Aadhaar-based eKYC rollout nationally that allowed SIM activation in under 5 minutes.
It has rolled out eKYC across 2 lakh outlets, nearly equal to total number of ATMs in the country, and will double these to 4 lakh digitally enabled outlets by March 2017.
JioMoney app will give access to a digital money wallet that is linked to the user’s bank account.
“One of the key drivers for adoption of digital money and the cashless way of living is people’s ability to convert physical cash into digital cash and vice-versa,” he said, adding that JioMoney is expanding its reach to millions of touchpoints where Aadhar based micro-ATMs will be deployed.
It will enable digital transactions of all types like those made at mandis, small shops, restaurants, railway ticket counters, for bus and mass transit and even person-to-person money transfers.
Customers use their JioMoney Wallets to pay merchants from their bank accounts and merchants can use the app to accept these payments directly into their bank accounts.
“JioMoney is focused on signing up over 10 million small merchant retailers in coming weeks across 17,000 towns and 4 lakh villages,” he said.