Mar 01, 2017 01:27 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Jio Prime membership opens on March 1: New tariff plans revealed

For Jio Prime Members, two more monthly plans will be available other than the Rs 303 plan announced last week. The cheapest monthly plan is Rs 149 which offers free domestic voice and 2GB data without any daily limits. Another plan offers 60 GB (2GB daily data allowance) and unlimited voice for Rs 499, according to a CLSA note.

Jio Prime membership opens on March 1: New tariff plans revealed

Chaitanya Gudipaty
Moneycontrol News

Reliance Jio is all set to begin enrolling customers on to its Jio Prime membership plans from March 1, effectively offering 1 GB high-speed 4G data and free calls for Rs 10 a day for an year.

The membership fee for Jio Prime will be Rs 99 per year. The unlimited free voice, free data offered in the 'Happy New Year' scheme will be available to Jio Prime members for another 12 months for a price of Rs 303 per month. Jio Prime members will also get the bouquet of Jio media services till March 31, 2018.

Besides this plan, Jio plans to roll out two new monthly tariff plans at Rs 149 and Rs 499 which offer 2GB and 60 GB data along with free voice, respectively, according to note by brokerage firm CLSA.

“As per our discussion with channel partners and retailers, Reliance Jio has revealed more tariff plans under the “Jio Prime Program” that requires one-time membership charge of Rs 99 to be paid before March 31, 2017,” CLSA said in the note.


“For Jio Prime Members, two more monthly plans will be available other than the Rs 303 plan announced last week. The cheapest monthly plan is Rs 149 which offers free domestic voice and 2GB data without any daily limits. Another plan offers 60 GB (2GB daily data allowance) and unlimited voice for Rs 499,” it said.

Jio will also offer long duration plans for Rs 999/1999/4999/9999 with validity for 60/90/180/360 days and data allowance of 60/125/350/750GB without any daily limits, according to CLSA.

Spelling out the fine print of Jio new tariff plans, the CLSA note stated that while subscription to Jio apps is available to all these plans, the company has limited free voice up to the first 1,000 minutes/month, after which only calls within the Jio network will be free.

Also, "Jio Prime membership and its benefits could be cancelled unless a minimum recharge of Rs 149 is made every month," it said.

Jio Tariff After 31st March

For users who fail to sign up for the Jio Prime subscription before March 31, Jio will announce standard plans that will not only match the tariff plans of its rivals but will also offer 20 percent more data compared to its peers, Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani had said on February 21.

Aggressive Push

In his address last week, Ambani had said that Jio crossed 100 million subscribers. Jio will be keen on holding on to these subscribers while adding more users. For this, the telecom company is offering commission rates higher than the industry norm, CLSA said.

“Our discussion with channel partners reveals that Jio has also offered much higher commission rates of over 6 percent on recharge versus industry average of sub-3 percent. While we find the tariffs quite attractive for data users, high commission rates should provide an added push for high membership of Jio Prime and allow Jio to start with a high chargeable subscriber base,” the CLSA note stated.

Jio had crossed 50 million subscribers in just 83 days of its launch, adding at an average rate of 6 lakh subscribers per day and surpassing the subscriber addition rates of global giants like Facebook, WhatsApp and Skype. Announcing its third quarter results, Reliance Industries had said that Jio has garnered 72.4 million subscribers as of December 31, 2016.

Rivals May Not Catch Up

CLSA is apprehensive about the capability of Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and others to match the tariffs offered in Jio Prime plan.

“These plans again underscore that Jio is playing the capacity game. Given its huge capacity advantage, we believe incumbents may find it difficult to match this offer without impacting user experience on their networks," it said adding that "While one may find the Rs149/month plan as ARPU dilutive, Jio is possibly using this to entice users into building habits of higher data and video usage as it offers its Jio apps free along with this,” it said in the note.

The Reliance Jio Effect

Jio's entry has pushed the telecom sector into a consolidation mode. Last week, India’s largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel announced that it had entered into "definitive agreement" to acquire Telenor India assets.

Meanwhile, Vodafone Plc has also announced that it is in exploratory talks with the Aditya Birla Group's telecom arm Idea Cellular for a merger.

"Vodafone confirms that it is in discussions with the Aditya Birla Group about an all share merger of Vodafone India (excluding Vodafone's 42% stake in Indus Towers) and Idea. Any merger would be effected through the issue of new shares in Idea to Vodafone and would result in Vodafone deconsolidating Vodafone India," Vodafone had said in a statement earlier in February.

(Disclosure: Reliance Industries, which own Jio, also owns Network18 which publishes Moneycontrol)

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