Reliance Jio entered the market almost four years ago. The company single-handedly turned around the whole telecom industry. It offered unlimited calls and plenty of data for an unbelievable price. While Jio forced the competition to offer unlimited calls, it is now the first to back off. Here's why you will not be able to benefit much from the unlimited calling plans.
In order to understand why Jio is being forced to do this, we need to understand what is Interconnect Usage Charge (IUC). IUC is the charges that one operator needs to pay to another operator when its customers make outgoing calls to the other operator’s customers. These charges are fixed by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) at 6 paise/minute.
Jio claims that they have paid NET IUC cost of approximately Rs. 13,000 crores till date. This comes down to roughly Rs. 200 crores per month. The company also claims that TRAI has finally agreed to wave off such charges starting January 1, 2020.
TRAI has made a few changes to the IUC charges, which means that Jio will no longer be able to subsidize IUC charges using its own resources. The company will need to recover this cost through its customers. This will only be charged when Jio customers make calls to customers of other operators including Airtel, Vodafone and Idea.
As for what it means for the customers, the tariff plans on Jio will remain the same. However, users who recharge after October 10, will need to buy an additional voucher to make calls to other operators. While the calls within the Jio network will remain free, users will need to pay 6 paise/min when made calls to other operators.
In order to compensate, Jio will be offering 1GB complimentary data on every Rs. 10 voucher purchased.