Reliance Jio 4G launch in India: Commercial rollout finally begins next month with free calls and data
Reliance Jio 4G launch in India: Commercial rollout finally begins next month with free calls and dataReuters file

Reliance Jio 4G service is still in the initial stages of roll-out but that hasn't stopped it from becoming a national sensation. Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm has slowly been rolling out its high-speed 4G data and calls services to select users since last December and it has come to a stage where the full public roll-out begins.

Initially, there was no definite timeline for the Jio 4G launch in India other than the fact that it would happen in the latter half of 2016, most likely in December. But that wasn't the end of it as officials aware of the company's plans said last month that Jio 4G would launch in September. Since the company's employees and their relatives were given access to Jio's network, the positive review from the users increased the anticipation among the majority.

As it now appears, the much-awaited public roll-out of Jio 4G services could happen as soon as next month, according to a report from the Economic Times, which cited three people familiar with the company's plans. If the report is true, sources also said that Reliance Jio Infocomm is planning to announce its maiden plan called Freedom, which will offer free data and calls as a bundle priced at least 25 percent lower than the top rivals.

The name of the company's maiden plan, Freedom, is a reference to India's Independence Day, which is celebrated on August 15. According to the sources, the timing of the Jio 4G launch couldn't be more ideal.

The teams had been forewarned about a launch thrice earlier. But this time, the management means business," one of sources informed ET.

If the rumours are true and Reliance Jio offers free calls for life, it is going to wage a massive tariff war in a rather calm telecom industry in India. According to ET, 80 percent of the telco revenue is generated through voice and the Jio offer will hurt industry majors, including Airtel, Vodafone, BSNL and Idea, in a big way.

But Reliance Jio will not stop at just that. According to one of the sources, Jio subscribers will need to buy data backs to avail free voice plan and the 1GB pack will be priced at Rs. 80 per month, another disruption in the telecom industry.

Reliance Jio infocomm is described as the world's biggest start-up with an investment of Rs. 1,50,000 crore. According to Morgan Stanley, a US-based brokerage firm, Reliance Jio could earn $1.7 billion in revenue by the end of 2016-17 and company's annual revenue is expected to rise to $6.69 billion (Rs. 45,492 crore) by March 2020.