Reliance jio may extend its free welcome offer until March 2017
Last week it was reported that Reliance Jio will end its Welcome Offer on December 3 after a TRAI directive. And that is still happening. But there is also a chance that Reliance may figure out some way to extend the free offer, if that is what the situation demands. According to a new report, Reliance Jio has informed analysts that it may extend free data and voice calls services till March 2017.
New telecom entrant Reliance Jio Infocomm may extend its free ‘welcome offer’ beyond December to March end 2017 to meet 100 million subscriber target, analysts said.
“Mass scale free welcome offer could continue until March 2017 to attract subscriber growth towards the celebrated 100 million mark with jio’s indicative data pricing at Rs 130-140 per gigabyte (GB),” Motilal Oswal analysts in a note said.
According to TRAI, a telecom operator cannot offer a plan with free services for more than 90 days. However, analysts at Citi Research have been reportedly informed by Reliance Industries management that there were no restrictions on the number of promotional offers a company can launch.
Reliance Jio too has hinted that if the company can’t deliver the kind of service it promises to its customers it may be unfair on its part to charge the customer.
The analysts reason for such claims is directly linked with the ongoing point of interconnectivity (POI) issue. This is forced many users to rely on their non-Jio number to make calls.
The matter was recently taken up by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), suggesting that Airtel, Vodafone and Idea pay Rs 50 crore per circle as penalty for failing to provide POIs to Jio.
Considering the conflict between TRAI’s guidelines and Reliance Jio’s statement, it is very much likely that Jio may change the Welcome Offer’s name to something else and continue offering free data and calls to customers. While it may sound like a quick trick to bypass TRAI norms, it sure seems valid under TRAI’s guidelines since technically the company will not be offering the same promotional plan for more than 90 days.