Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio often finds itself against Vodafone and Airtel over important issues in the telecom sector. However, all three operators stand together against the government's move to bring transparency into telecom tariffs.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had asked the telecom players to come clean about their plans and publish details of all of their recharge packs— including the ones that are active but not being offered to users.
Hidden recharge plans
Telecom operators have more plans in their catalogue than they publish on the internet. The companies choose to offer beneficial plans to some customers who are high spenders or to the customers who intend to port out.
These plans are referred to as counter offers and TRAI is thinking of making them all public. However, there is resistance from telecom operators as they might have to explain themselves to the customers on why certain plans aren't available to them.
Jio makes U-turn on plan transparency
As per a report by ET Telecom, Jio said that if they start publishing plans that are not available for users along with the available plans, it could be confusing for customers and increase customer complaints.
While at the moment, Jio has joined Airtel and Vodafone to oppose TRAI's transparency plan, the operator's stance is actually a U-turn. Three years ago, when Jio was a new player and had only "few" plans with attractive prices, it had asked TRAI to set up a common platform where every plan is made public.
Back then, Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea were against the idea and claimed that offers and counteroffers that are aimed at retaining users had to be kept confidential. Now that Jio is on a level-playing field, it stands together with the rest of the telecom operators.
Jio and IUC charges
Also, this is not the first instance of Jio making a U-turn on a key issue. Jio wanted the government to get rid of the IUC charges — a basic amount that an operator pays to another for connecting a call made from their network. The IUC charges are included in a call, but since Vodafone and Airtel were receiving more calls on their networks, Jio was at a disadvantage because of its unlimited calling scheme.
Jio started charging its users IUC of 6 paise per minute and soon revamped its plans with a FUP for off-net calls. However, since Jio realized that charging for calls did not affect its customers, it changed its stance again and asked TRAI to stop the consultation process on a new timeline to remove IUC charges.