As Jio, Airtel, Vodafone and Idea indulge in shooting each other’s high price with the bullets of tariffs, new data weapons are coming up in the tele-war zone. Amidst the tariff war, the users struggle in choice making as they enjoy the war.
Since September, Reliance Jio has taken over the telecom market with its floored prices and offers in just six months. The telecom companies might incur further loss as Reliance Jio announced its ‘Jio Prime Plan’ to hold on to the users. As the Happy New Year offer by Jio will end on March 31, Reliance Jio promoted its new plans luring Airtel, Vodafone and Idea customers starting from April 1, 2017. With an attractive Rs 99 plan, Jio gives 1GB of data per day with a monthly charge of Rs 303. Comparing the price of 30GB data with other networks, a shifting of users is expected. The Jio existing subscribers will enjoy the New Year offer benefits for one more year until 31 March 2018. Another shot by Jio of 56GB of 4G data came along with free incoming and outgoing calls, free messages and unlimited data at lowered speed.
Jio analysed that the biggest selling point in India is ‘Anything free’ and thus captured the market. According TRAI, the Jio download speed January was 8.3mbps, which is less than half of little over 18mbps that it clocked in December. Despite discrepancies in services and fluctuating connectivity, low prices are always a winner in India.
Joining the race by matching the tariff, existing mobile operators have dropped their tariff price to compete the growing popularity of Jio. Bharti Airtel announced the abolishing of national roaming charges and reduces international roaming charges by up to 90 per cent. There will be no additional data charges on national roaming and the home data packs will work without state roaming barriers. But all this majorly affected the internationally traveling users or overseas subscribers and not the basics. As a counter attack to the Jio wave, Bharti Airtel announced to evolve to 5G services in partnership with Nokia.
The war also sprung in the home broadband market, called as fibre-to-the-home (FTTH). Jio and Vodafone are entering the FTTH market challenging the current dominance of BSNL and Bharti Airtel who control more than 66% of the market.
During the third quarter of 2016-17, Idea Cellular reported a net loss of Rs 384 crore whereas Bharti Airtel saw a 54 percent drop in consolidated net profit at Rs 503.70 crore due to disruptions caused by Reliance Jio’s entry.
The battle ground not only saw tariff war but also regulatory issues as Telecom Commission expressed concerns as Jio dented government revenues in the current fiscal.