Reliance Jio’s free Happy New Year offer estimated to continue even after March 31 2017
Reliance Jio’s free Happy New Year offer estimated to continue even after March 31 2017Reuters file

Reliance Jio, which recently announced an extension of its popular free 4G LTE services till March 2017 under the ambit of the Happy New year offer, is now estimated to continue offering these free of charge initiatives even after March 2017. Experts opine that Jio would launch a full pronged 4G attack on the already existing 4G operators, and would thus extend the Happy New Year initiative further.

As per a Times of India report, which quotes analyst Rajiv Sharma of HSBC, possibilities are that Jio would prefer to further the already free 4G offerings even after March 31 2017 based on if incumbent telcos adapt intensive counter strategies with respect to providing 4G services. At this point in time, it is worth noting that very recently leading incumbent telco Airtel announced customised recharge plans that offer free voice calls across India to prepaid subscribers.

Following Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone have also seemingly come out with their own recharge plans to provide free voice calling to 3G as well as 2G subscribers (case with Vodafone) apart from 4G customers. These developments are a clear indicator of the intensive degree of competition in the 4G wireless segment.

Other reputed analysts have reportedly seconded the above aspects and are of the opinion that incumbent telcos, offering free voice calls to avoid the potential risk of having to lose existing customers to Reliance Jio via portability, would be taken seriously by Jio and it could possibly have to extend its Happy New Year offer even after March 2017. However, this estimated extension could be for only a short period of time after March 31 next year.

At this juncture, it is worth noting that Reliance Jio recently acknowledged the issue of call drops, and the company's chairman Mukesh Ambani also stated that people are hard at work, which has resulted in a drastic reduction in call drops, especially when calls are made to other networks. These efforts, in turn, have reportedly resulted in a fall in call drop rate to as much as 28 percent.

As of now, existing customers of Reliance Jio would automatically be migrated to the Happy New Year 4G offer that provides free voice calls on LTE network, voice calls without charges, 100 free text messages and free incoming calls while on roaming.