HOME > BUSINESS > FREE SIMS for EVERYONE: How Reliance Jio totally sandbagged Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular via its preview offer

FREE SIMS for EVERYONE: How Reliance Jio totally sandbagged Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular via its preview offer

jio-preview

Today, Reliance Digital stores across the country are seeing long queues of customers waiting to get free SIMs with three months of unlimited data and voice calls.

“We are taking about half an hour to complete the process for each person,” said an employee at a Digital store in Kerala. “There are customers waiting. Please be ready to stand in queue if you are coming today,” he warned.

With this public beta, Reliance Jio has reached the final stages of its test program which started eight months ago with a limited employee launch. Yet, if you thought this was merely about network testing, you couldn’t be farther from the truth.

AMBANI’S MASTERSTROKE

It was in May that Jio first started inviting the public on to its network by giving free 90 day unlimited trial experience to anyone who bought a LYF handset. Last month, it was again expanded to people who owned a high-end Samsung phones and on Independence Day, Jio started sales of its JioFi device, bundling the Rs 2,899 device with three months of unlimited data usage.

The latest move to extend it to anyone with a 4G device means that the company has more or less made its services available to anyone who wants it.

The only people who cannot use the company’s services now are those who do not have 4G handsets– who don’t matter anyway to a 4G-only provider.

So, the question is, why hasn’t the company started full commercial launch yet? Why not launch the port-in service? Why not launch tariff plans?

The reason is likely to be regulatory and competitive rather than technical.

If Jio was to start commercial operations right now, it would have to get its data tariffs and schemes approved by the TRAI. If it said: We will offer free data and calls till we reach X number of users, TRAI may have found it difficult to approve such a ‘plan’. Besides, competitors could have challenged the ‘tariff plan’ in front of the competition commission as predatory pricing.

This wouldn’t have helped RJio’s primary aim — to be present on all high-spending telecom consumers’ handsets, even if it is in the form of a second SIM.

And what can be a better way to do it than to offer free calls and data for anyone who owns a 4G handset?

Moreover, since it’s a ‘test’ and not ‘commercial’, Jio also does not need to get TRAI approval for any tariff plan either.  In fact, there is technically no tariff plan.

It can argue that the network is still being tested, and it would be difficult to disprove it.

ANGRY COMPETITORS

Jio’s shrewd strategy is starting to pay off as the biggest data users on rivals’ networks — who also tend to be the highest revenue-generating customers — are opting to buy a second SIM from Jio on an experimental basis.

This is exactly the opening that Jio needs to attract them to its network.

And this is also the kind of tactic that Jio’s rivals failed to anticipate.

Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone had drawn up contingency plans to cut their data tariffs in case Jio priced its plans and packs very low, but these plans were drawn up on the assumption that Jio will charge some price for its data.

Now that data and voice is being given totally free to anyone with a 4G handset, they cannot compete with the offering unless they too reduce their prices to zero — an unthinkable proposition.

So what will happen?

The answer is that Jio will get what it wants — an entry into the dual-SIM smartphones of the most high-spending telecom consumers in India.

It will then try to wean these customers away from their current provider — whether Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular or Vodafone — by offering big discounts if they port their main number to its network after three months.

Whether the Mukesh Ambani-led firm will succeed in its gameplan or not depends on the impression that the company is able to create on these big-spending consumers during the preview period of 90 days.

If these consumers feel that the network is reliable and consistent, there is a high chance that they may port their numbers to Jio at the end of the 90-day period.

Even if they don’t port their numbers, Jio still stands to benefit as it is primarily a data operator, and it doesn’t really matter if these high-spending consumers use Airtel, Idea or Vodafone to make voice calls as long as they use Jio for data.

And this can be achieved by being present on one SIM slot of the two that are present on most phones.

The rivals, expectedly, are not very happy at being sandbagged this way.

They were expecting straight competition, but to be whacked out of the blue like this is something they were clearly not prepared for.

For now, they are trying to get the trial offer withdrawn using regulatory pressure: The TRAI has reportedly been asked to prescribe norms for how big a network trial can be.

However, given that a regulatory process will not complete within two months, Jio will already have entered the handsets of at least 50% of the big data users on all these rival networks in that time. In other words, they don’t have much of an option that than to grin and bear it.
[socialpoll id=”2382682″]

Follow ULTRA.news
Why Reliance JIO’s new tariff plan is BAD for Bharti Airtel, Idea & Vodafone Airtel's stock performance (2002-2017)The stock of Bharti Airtel is at a two-year high, not far from its life-highs of late 2007, but going by the latest tariffs unveiled by Reliance Jio, investors will do well to hold off on the bubbly for a while longer.Airtel closed a...
JIO Wallet Offers: Paytm, Amazon, PhonePe give cashback on 399 recharge Wallet players like Paytm, Mobikwik, PhonePe and AmazonPay have come up with cash back offers for Reliance Jio users who want to take advantage of the Rs 399 recharge scheme valid till today midnight.Last week, India's largest wireless Internet provider said anyone rechargin...
The Economics of Bharti Airtel’s 7777 offer on the iPhone 8 Bharti Airtel announced that it will sell high-end smartphones online with instant financing.The phones, including the iPhone 8, will be available at low downpayment and bundled monthly packages, which will make them more or less free of charge.The model was first tried ...
Bharti Airtel merges Ghana arm with Tigo of Millicom Bharti Airtel said it is merging its operations in the African nation of Ghana with the local unit of Millicom International Cellular."Under the joint agreement, Airtel and Millicom will have equal ownership (50:50) and governance rights in the combined entity, which will ha...
Reliance Jio’s New 4G Plans: No More Tariff Increases? Jio's new 4G tariff from Oct 19Reliance Jio has unveiled a set of new plans that will come into effect from tomorrow, effecting a price increase of about 15% to existing tariff.The phrasing of the new plans also suggests that these are 'regular' plans, and not promotiona...
Reliance Jio to withdraw Rs 399 plan next week Most customers of Reliance Jio, the country's largest telecom operator by volumes, will not be able to get the 84GB-for-399 plan starting next month, the company's deputy chief financial officer V Srikant said on Friday.Asked how the company's average revenue per user (billi...
Surprisingly, Reliance Jio is already profitable at PAT level Reliance Jio has reported revenue of Rs 7,213 cr, including GST, and an operating profit of Rs 261 cr for the second quarter of the financial year.However, after deducting costs related to the wear and tear of its machines, Reliance Jio reported a pretax loss of 414 cr. This...
Reliance Jio breaks even on opg level, 9.62 GB avg consumption per month Reliance Jio has reported revenue of Rs 7,213 cr and an operating profit of Rs 261 cr for the second quarter of the financial year.Per capita data consumption was 9.62 GB per user per month.Average voice consumption was 626 minutes per month during the period, it added. ...
BSNL to increase minimum broadband speed to withstand Jio Fiber Existing BSNL plansState-owned telecom provider Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd will increase the speed cap on all its DSL and Fiber broadband plans to 10 Mbps. At present, most plans have a speed cap of 4 Mbps.However, higher speeds will be available only in areas which are re...
Tata Tele acquisition good for Bharti Airtel – Fitch Bharti Airtel Limited's (BBB-/Stable) announcement that it plans to acquire the consumer mobile operations of Tata Teleservices and Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) Ltd (Tata Telecom business) is positive for the deal participants as well as the industry, Fitch Ratings said.B...
Reliance Jio quarterly numbers to be announced today; new tariff plans eyed Reliance Industries, the parent of telecom operator Jio, will announce its quarterly performance numbers at around 5 pm today.Besides its core oil and gas business, the company will give an update on the operations of its telecom unit.Some in the market even expect it t...
Tata Teleservices to merge mobile business with Bharti Airtel Bharti Airtel Limited, India’s largest telecommunications services provider and Tata, India’s leading conglomerate, today announced that they have entered into an understanding to merge Consumer Mobile Businesses (CMB) of TTSL and TTML into Bharti Airtel.The move is likely ...
Reliance Jio to launch new plans on Thursday, offers 100% cashback Reliance Jio, India's most popular wireless data provider, said it will introduce new plans from Oct 19, and that it was offering "100%" cashback on its popular recharge of Rs 399 that gives three months of services.In a promotion put up on its website, the company said the ...
Airtel counters JioPhone with smartphone at Rs 1,399 net price Bharti Airtel has announced a scheme to offer a 4-inch smartphone at an effective price of Rs 1,399 -- after cash backs -- to take on the challenge posed by Reliance Jio's Jiophone.The customer needs to make a down payment of Rs 2899 for the 4G smartphone. He will get a cash...
Idea, Airtel offer 84 GB 4g data for Rs 400 to target users Airtel PlansIdea Cellular and Bharti Airtel are offering 1 GB of 3G or 4G data per day for 84 days at a price of around Rs 400 in select circles, including voice benefits, matching Jio's lowest tariff.The offer is available only for targeted users.For example, for so...
To arrest subscriber decline, Idea offers 84 GB, on-net calls for 230 rupees Idea Cellular, the third largest telecom operator in India by revenue, has started offering new customers 84 GB and free on-net calls for 84 days for just Rs 230 in the Kerala circle.Similar schemes are likely to have been launched in other circles as well.It also offers ...
Zain to use Wifi spectrum to speed up 4G LTE Nokia will help Saudi telecom operator Zain to use unlicensed spectrum in the 5 GHz band -- often used for Wifi -- to increase download speeds of 4G LTE."Following the trial, the Nokia technology will be deployed in hotspots, for example, in malls and cafes in Jeddah and aro...
Idea Cellular offers 28 GB 3G/4G data for Rs 250 Idea Cellular, which has been under pressure in recent months due to aggressive offerings from rivals Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio, has unveiled a new promotional offer that gives 1 GB per day for 28 days at a price of around Rs 250.Unlike other plans, this one does not off...
RCom likely to shut more 2G, 3G networks, sell the spectrum Reliance Communications, which announced it was abandoning plans to merge with Aircel Cellular, indicated that it would focus on two segments - 4G and wired. Within wired, it would focus on enterprise services.The disclosure indicates that the company, -- which recently shut ...
JIO IMPACT: India mobile data usage up 500%, price down 97% in 1 year The average data consumed by wireless users in India has increased five fold in the last year one year, even as prices crashed by 97% due to the launch of Reliance Jio.For India as a whole, the total consumption of wireless data touched 4.3 bln GB in the three months from Ap...