Mukesh Ambani
Mukesh AmbaniReuters

The clock is ticking and Reliance Jio users are nearing towards the end of free data and other services, which have been spoiling mobile users' habits.

On March 31, Jio will conclude its Happy New Year offer and finally put an end to its controversial free services after six months, which had incumbents on the edge of their seats.

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But Jio's generosity sees no bounds. As per the latest report, the Mukesh Ambani-led telecom operator is planning to continue its free 4G data, voice calls and other services for another three months. But there's a catch.

Economic Times reported that the Jio subscribers will continue to take advantage of the free services even after March 31 for a nominal charge. The telco is coming up with a new tariff plan costing about Rs 100 for data, which will be valid until June 30. The introductory offer will include Jio's promised free voice calls benefits.

The information comes from inside sources, who asked not to be identified as the official confirmation is still due. Jio added 72 million subscribers in just four months, which in itself is a record. But surveys have revealed that majority users are opting for Jio as a secondary connection, which makes it a challenge for the carrier to start asking users to pay for the services.

"We expect many will go back to using their primary number if the (free) offer is withdrawn, and Jio could well lose over half its subscribers if it starts charging more without fixing the call drop problem," Chris Lane, a senior analyst at US brokerage firm Bernstein, said in a statement.

However, a nominal charge will help Jio test its paid model and also test its customers' loyalty. By offering free data and voice calls at a suitable price point, Jio will be able to prevent massive attrition in its subscriber base.

Compared to a few weeks ago, Jio's connections have significantly improved. The call connectivity to other telcos was a major challenge, but Jio has managed to fix that with sufficient POIs released by incumbents. With the introduction of Happy New Year offer, the telco also lowered its FUP limit from 4GB to 1GB per day to ensure faster 4G speeds to all of its users.