A day before Reliance Jio’s Happy New Year offer comes to an end, the company has received a lukewarm response to its new offers. After March 31, the subscribers have to start paying to continue to use the network’s services.
Since Jio announced itself as the latest entrant in India’s telecom market last year, over 100 million subscribers have been added to the network. Jio Prime membership is the latest offering by the company, which is aimed towards reducing the difference consumers will see after March 31, when they will have to pay for the service.
From April 1, the new offers will start, but users are required to recharge their numbers with Rs 99 in order to continue using the Happy New Year offers. After the big announcement by RIL Chairman and MD Mukesh Ambani of achieving 100 million subscribers within 170 days, the company has added 20 million new customers in only the last four weeks. But according to the operator, only 16 million customers have taken the Jio Prime Membership offer. As the freebies come to an end, a huge percentage of subscribers have already turned their backs.
According to a Financial Express report, with the downward pressure on tariffs along with the end of free offers, the tariff wars with rivals Airtel and Vodafone might end. This could also result in a boost in return on capital. Reliance Jio is said to be evaluating options to extend the Prime offer, in order to boost the uptake for its network. The report also suggested that the industry may now focus on quality and network expansion, and not just on putting out attractive offers.
According to the Cellular Operations Associations of India (COAI), the other telecom companies like Vodafone, Bharti Airtel, and Idea had together increased their subscriber base by 2.27 million in Feb to collectively reach 817.42 million. The new telecom entrant, which has been in the limelight ever since its grand entry, has reported a considerable amount of debt. This huge debt against the spectrum installments has been a cause of concern to the telecom companies. The government held a meeting on March 29 to discuss the apprehensions the telecom sector has. The discussion was spearheaded by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and other telecom officials.