It took a painfully long time, but from the first looks of it, India finally seems to be a lot closer to global standards of how telecom prices are charged. At the annual general meeting of Reliance, Mukesh Ambani broke the silence and sorted a lot of rumors on tariffs of Reliance Jio. From the preliminarily looks of it, this is industry breaking standards – for pricing that finally make sense. We are about a decade late for this sort of pricing, but it seems it has finally happened. Could it, and would it hold weight age for the massive expectations from the company?
When smartphones like Apple were launched and marketed with heavy dependence on online features, the advertisements and general publicity ran like ants in a sugar factory towards the endless possibilities. A majority of apps, and even core system functions work essentially using internet, which makes sense globally, because data is unlimited almost everywhere; except India. Even cloud technology which every startup and technology entrepreneurship is dipping its hands into, relies on the assumption that you’ll have internet running on your phones constantly. However, they deliberately forget to mention that with regular internet usage your data plan prices will end-up costing you, as much as, buying your smartphone all over again in just 6 months. Let’s face it – data plans currently in India are quite unaffordable, and negligibly small. Can reliance Jio shatter this agonizing industry standard? Here’s everything you want to know:
Exactly how cheap are we talking here?
We are talking really cheap. Competitively, it shatters industry standards by a long shot. Take for example, current market prices for 300MB of data will charge you a minimum of INR 150 or more, but on reliance you will get 1 GB for as low as INR 50 – that too 3G/4G connection. The next one in line – which will cost you 500 rupees but give you 4GB of high speed 4G data on regular usage, unlimited free internet usage during the night, and 8GB of tethered mobile usage. That works out to be about Rs 42 per GB. Naturally, the bigger the plan you get, the more the incentives.
What’s reliance’s strategy behind this?
Mukehs Ambani finally acknowledges the universal truth – globally consumers pay for either calls and texts, or data – they don’t pay for both. This universal truth helps establish a new industry norm in reliance’s policies. Mukesh also said Reliance is going to charge 1/10th of the standard in telecommunications charges.
What’s absolutely free?
With every Reliance Jio sim, regardless of the package you buy, even the cheapest one, you get absolutely free:
- Unlimited voice calls, to any number at all, local or STD
- Absolutely no such thing as “roaming” or charges of roaming – same prices throughout India
- Reliance Jio apps which will also free surfing of movies music and live TV free till December 2017
What else is extremely exciting about the plans?
If you opt for any plan above the base one, which is 150, so starting from the 500 rupees a month plans to more, you get:
- Unlimited texts, local or STD
- Unlimited high speed night time 4G usage
- Students get an additional 25% data usage if they register their sim card on a student ID
What’s the catch here?
There are obviously some catches and marked terms and conditions for everything that seems too good to be true. Here are few things you need to look out for:
- Essentially the starter 150 rupees a month pack is good, but not marvelously great. The real brilliant pricing starts from the 500 rupees a month plans.
- Reliance has a naughty network resulting in weak signals and call drops. Maybe that’s something to keep in mind before switching.
- All packs work for 28 days, not 31 days. So essentially, in the long run, you’d end up buying 13 packs a year and not 12. But that’s the norm with all other brands too.
- If you try to trick the system by tethering using a hack on your smartphone beyond your usage allowance of tethering, and if Reliance finds out, you could not only face legal action but also be banned from Reliance’s networks for life.
That being said, the schemes genuinely sound very interesting and personally, I’d be giving it a shot. Of course, I’ll be using my favorite cash back companies like PayTM to pay my bills/ get a recharge (if they still support it) to get brilliant cash back offers on the fixed prices of monthly packs and save some money. Perhaps, I’ll even be using a referral company on the cash back websites so as to get an additional bonus cash back and end up saving at least 5-10% in total on the already heavily subsided monthly charges.
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