What TRAI order means for exisitng Reliance Jio customers

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Telecom regulator has asked Relaince Jio to withdraw its Summer Surprise, three months free promotional offer.

Mumbai: Telecom regulator TRAI late on Thursday asked RIL’s telecom arm Reliance Jio to withdraw Summer Surprise, its three months promotional offer. The ruling may hamper Jio’s highly ambitious plans to add another 100 million customers in just a few more months, according to a report in The Economic Times.

ET quoted some experts as saying that the order, however, will “help restore pricing rationality over the next few months”.

But what does the recent ruling by TRAI mean for existing Reliance Jio subscribers? Of total over a 100 million Jio users, 72 million customers have already signed up for its paid service, Jio Prime.

Reliance Jio already has over a 100 million users in its kitty that the company managed to attract within 170 days of launch of Jio services on September 5 last year.

Jio users now will require to get monthly recharges of their own choice as under Summer Surprise they were not required to get monthly recharges for three months or until July-end.

Jio has a number of ‘affordable’ and other data recharges that its users will be able to chose from. A standard recharge rate that the company hopes most of its 72 million paid customers will opt for lies in the range of Rs 149 and Rs 303.

It was earlier reported that Reliance Jio will lose or will have to forego a whopping $800 million or Rs 5,000 crore in revenues by giving Jio Summer Surprise. This will not happen now as Jio has been barred from extending the free service.

TRAI’s Summer Surprise ruling will give incumbent telecom operators a breathing space. Market leader Bharti Airtel has over 250 million customers, Vodafone 201 million customers and Idea Cellular has some 185 million customers.

All the three big players have been grappling to stay afloat since Jio’s launch. Airtel has seen its profits going down by 55 per cent.

Jio that has energy behemoth Reliance Industries as its parent and chairman Mukesh Ambani as guiding force has accepted the decision, the report said.

Summer Surprise is a sub-offer of Jio’s paid service Jio Prime that has come into effect from April 1. For accessing Jio Prime, an existing Jio customer needs to pay a one-time membership fee of Rs 99 (valid for one year).

And after that the Jio customer can opt for a number of monthly recharges in the range of Rs 149 to Rs 303 for majority of users, or based on their data consumption level.

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