Jio removes caps on free calls as IUC comes to an end

Reliance Jio said it has removed the fair usage caps imposed on voice calls under its various unlimited call plans.

The move is a response to abolition of domestic mobile interconnect charges.

At present, Jio imposes a limit of 1,000 minutes per recharge on calls to other network on its most popular Rs 199 plan.

Jio’s decision to impose a limit on the number of minutes of outgoing calls that its users could make to non-Jio networks 15 months ago had led to much discomfort for users.

However, the company justified the move, pointing out that it was losing much money in the form of interconnect charges paid to other operators as most people were using their Jio SIMs to make outgoing calls.

It also pointed out that the TRAI had extended the deadline to abolish interconnect charges from the end of 2019 to the end of 2020.

Interconnect charges of 6 paise per minute are paid by the operator on whose network a call originates to the operator on which the call terminates.

The company’s decision to impose a limit on the number of minutes of off-net calls had invited sarcastic comments from rivals, who pointed out that their ‘unlimited plans’ were ‘true unlimited’ plans as they did not impose such limits.

“In September 2019, when TRAI extended the timeline for implementation of the Bill & Keep regime beyond 1st January 2020, Jio was left with no option but to start charging its customers for offnet voice calls, at a rate exactly equivalent to the applicable IUC charge,” the company said today.

“While doing so, Jio had assured its users that this charge would continue only till the time TRAI abolished IUC charges. Today, Jio has delivered on that promise and made off-net voice calls free again.”

Termination charge had already been removed for all calls originating on landlines, which allowed companies like Jio, Bharti and BSNL to offer true unlimited voice calling from their land line connections.

The abolition of the termination charge on mobile calls is unlikely to have much impact on any of the three main players, as they have more or less achieve complete parity in terms of the number of outgoing and incoming calls from and to their networks.