After conducting a soft launch of Jio 4G net services for select Reliance employees back in December, Reliance Jio has finally kick-started the trial launch of the high-speed internet service with limited number of people. The telecom arm of Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries is offering the trial on a referral invite basis, where only the existing users of Jio 4G can bring up to 10 people on board with Jio.
There has been a lot of excitement around Reliance Jio 4G, but due to technical challenges the commercial rollout of the high-speed mobile broadband service was postponed to December this year. Recently, the company said it has been testing its 4G services with over 5 lakh users, who have been consuming more than 18GB per user and an average of over 250 voice minutes usage within the first month. The new invite system will add 10 times more users on the network.
Reliance Jio is sending out emails to eligible employees with an option to refer others, who will get an email from LYF. In order to test the upcoming broadband service before anyone else, users must purchase a LYF smartphone. The referred friends must take a print out of the referral email, an original and copy of valid address proof, identity proof and passport size photograph to any Reliance Digital or DX Mini Store.
Buyers can choose from a wide range of 4G-enabled LYF smartphones in order to use the Jio 4G SIM card. Users will get unlimited 4G mobile internet and phone calls for 90 days as well as unlimited free access to Jio apps such as JioPlay, Jio on-demand, JioMag, JioBeats, Jio Drive and others for three months.
There was a recent report that said Reliance Jio 4G SIMs were being shipped to stores in March, but the outlets had no information about selling them to the public. It all makes sense now as the company had been planning the invite-only test phase of Jio 4G for a while.
The official pricing is still under wraps, but the Economic Times gathered the information from Delhi-based Reliance Digital Xpress stores to reveal some insights. According to the report, Jio plans charge 2 paisa per second for local and STD calls, Re. 1 per local and national SMS and Rs. 5 for international SMS. Jio users will be charged 5 paisa per second for a video call and 0.5 paisa per 10kb, which is quite disruptive considering its rivals charge 4 paisa per 10Kb.
It's worth noting that the invite is valid only for 15 days and cannot be transferred to other users.
Reliance Jio is targeting 100 million subscribers within 100 days of launch and about 131 million customers by the end-2019-20, Morgan Stanley, a US-based brokerage firm, had said earlier this year. The firm added that Reliance Jio could earn $1.7 billion in revenue by the end of 2016-17 if the commercial rollout of 4G services began in April. The company's annual revenue is expected to rise to $6.69 billion (Rs 45,492 crore) by March 2020.