Reliance Jio may extend free Welcome Offer into January 2017 and beyond

By on Email @exolete


Reliance Jio 4G may be forced to extend their unlimited free welcome offer even December 31st, given the deadlock on incumbent operators like Airtel, Vodafone, Idea refusing to provide points of interconnections for voice calls.

TRAI recently held a meeting between executives from all the operators in the country, the results of which were less than favorable. COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India) had earlier written to the PMO to seek intervention to keep competition fair. The incumbent operators alleged that given the free voice services that Reliance Jio is offering, they would not be able to handle that volume without contributing considerable financial and network resources which didn't make any monetary sense for them.

COAI said:

They (operators) wish to politely clarify that they are in no position, by way of network resources, or financial resources, to terminate volumes of traffic which are markedly asymmetric. Neither are they obliged to entertain interconnect requests which are derived from abnormal induced traffic patterns that game the IUC regime and are anti-competitive.

They added, that due to the free call offer total outgoing voice calls minutes from RJio would be equivalent to the combined volume for all other Indian operators put together. Speaking about the huge traffic volume from RJio they further said that the weighted average realization for other operators would drop from the current 30 - 40 paise to 22 -25 paise per minute which would financially make it difficult for them to survive.

(RJio seeks to) offload tsunamis of asymmetric voice traffic at IUC terms which will choke and financially destroy competition. IUC regimes anywhere in the world are meant to facilitate fair competition, and are not designed for such abuses.

At the AGM, Mukesh Ambani had accused the current operators in the country of not providing enough points of interconnection to let calls through which resulted in 5 crore dropped calls. If the current deadlock continues between RJio and other members of COAI, Reliance Jio may be forced to continue its free welcome offer with free unlimited Voice calls, data and messages well into 2017. Although that may seem like good news to customers, but this also means that call drops will continue and may eventually increase.