Reliance Jio SIM comes at a price - patience and time
A general view of Reliance Jio headquarters is seen on the outskirts of Mumbai, India, June 1, 2016.Reuters

Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani had announced last week that Jio's unlimited data offer will be open to all smartphone users across India starting Sept. 5. This news got consumers so excited that they lined up in large numbers outside Reliance Digital, Xpress and Xpress mini stores, where the Jio SIMs are being distributed for free.

Read: Simplified Reliance Jio T&Cs you must read right now

The aggressive pricing of Jio services, which is highlighted by free voice calls and cheap data plans, is also driving smartphone users to switch to Jio. But if consumers get the Jio SIM card anytime this year, they are entitled for unlimited data, voice and SMS services free till Dec. 31. Post that, Jio plans starting at Rs. 149 for 28 days will be applicable.

Even before Reliance opened up its unlimited offer to all smartphones, the demand for the Jio SIM card had outstripped supply. As a result, stores started giving out tokens to manage the crowd and issue SIMs at a later point. At that point, the waiting period was merely a day or two, but now it seems the stores are swamped with Jio SIM requests every day.

We took a field day in nearby Reliance Digital stores and experienced the demand first hand. In one Reliance Digital store in Bengaluru, the demand for the Jio SIM was so high that people had lined up outside the store even before the doors were open. Supposedly, that store was issuing tokens to get the Jio SIM from 10 am.

The Xpress Mini stores had a similar demand. But both stores had one thing in common – no stock for Jio SIMs. When we inquired when the SIM cards will be in stock, the store attendant said, "I'm scared to commit a particular date right now as customers are leaving dissatisfied due to the inconsistency in the supply of the stock."

Indian Express reported that Reliance stores have a three-week wait time for a Jio SIM in Noida and India Today said the waiting period is as long as 50 days in some stores.

Nothing comes for free and in this case if you truly want the Jio SIM card with free unlimited data till the end of this year, then make sure that you have ample time and patience in hand.