Reliance Industries caused a storm in the Indian telecom industry by introducing Reliance Jio in October last year, offering free unlimited access to high-speed 4G data, HD voice call, HD video call, SMS, and Jio apps for three months as part of its Welcome Offer. It didn't end there as Reliance extended the offer for three more months, till March 31, but reduced the offer from 4GB of data per day to 1GB. This controversial move got Reliance Jio over 100 million subscribers, but can it retain the numbers after the Happy New Year offer ends?
Well, Reliance Industries has introduced Reliance Jio Prime exclusively for its current subscribers in the hope of retaining them. The existing users can subscribe to Jio Prime membership for one-time payment of Rs 99, after which they have to pay Rs 303 a month for 1GB data per day (30GB of 4G data in a month) till March 2018.
Reliance Jio subscribers will be hit hard after the free data offer is dropped by the end of next month, but the fact is Reliance Jio's offer of Rs 10 per GB per day (Rs 303 per month) is still one to beat. So, most subscribers may opt for the Prime membership. But then Reliance Jio has its limitations too with its users complaining of bad network.
According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) data, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular lead the pack in terms of 4G download speed. TRAI's 4G speed data for the month of January revealed that Airtel tops the list at 11.862Mbps average speed (4.747Mbps in December), followed by Idea at 10.562Mbps (5.943Mbps in December), and Vodafone at 10.301Mbps (9.666Mbps in December). However, Reliance Jio's 4G download speed in January was 8.345Mbps.
In terms of 4G upload speed for the month of January, Vodafone leads at 5.696Mbps, followed by Idea at 5.631Mbps, and Airtel at 4.718Mbps. Reliance Jio's 4G upload speed in January was 2.276Mbps.
Airtel currently offers 1GB of 4G data and unlimited calling for Rs 345 for 28 days and 30 GB of data for 90 days for Rs 1,495. Vodafone offers unlimited calling and 1GB of 4G data (or 50MB of 3G) for 28 days for Rs 349. On the other hand, Idea offers 1GB of data per month and unlimited calling for Rs 348 for 28 days, and those owning new 4G-enabled handset can avail an additional 3GB of data.