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In September 2016, Jio officially announced the start of commercial operation in India and since the launch the company has only changed the Indian telecom industry for better, at least from the user perspective. The telecom operator became massively popular with its prime subscription plans that offered the early adopters unlimited 4G data over a period of 6 months including free calls and SMS.
Affordable high-speed 4G data meant that more and more people could stream content online. YouTube and other video streaming services saw a massive increase in content consumption that ultimately captured the attention of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime in India.
During the period India also jumped ahead of US and China to claim the world’s biggest consumer of mobile data title. After the initial six months offer period, the company launched new plans to continue providing 4G data and voice call services at an affordable price.
Jio launched several prime subscription plans ranging from 28 days to 90 days and more with 1 GB of data a day to 3GB data and of course free and unlimited voice calls.
The result of Jio’s popularity didn’t just mean that the company has successfully penetrated the ever-competitive telecom sector of India, but it created competition among the telecom service provider. To counter Jio, Airtel, Idea, BSNL, Vodafone and other big telecom operators started to offer better or equally competitive plans to the customers.
Here is how cheap 4G tariff, free calls and SMSs from Jio changed the Indian cellular industry for better and also affected other sectors like Mobile TV, Dish TV and broadband services in India.
Cheap 4G Data Tariff
Before Jio, all the Indian telecom operators had 4G connectivity throughout the country, but the data wasn’t affordable. Users had to pay up to Rs 500 for just 1 GB of data with a validity of 28 days. Airtel used to charge Rs 1499 for 15 GB of 3G data.
While Jio initially announced unlimited 4G data for the early Adopters, later the plan was trimmed down to 4GB of free 4G data per day for three months. When the other operators tried to protest, the company introduced paid subscription plans that included 94 GB of 4G data, free calls and SMMs for 94 days at Rs 450. There was Rs 390 plan that came with 82 days of validity, 82 GB of data along with free calls and SMSs.
To counter Jio, other operators also started to offer similar plans to the consumers. What it meant was, those who didn’t want to use Jio due to network issues and voice call problems did not have to compromise with data and offers and enjoy same benefit with their opeartor.
Free Voice Calls
Reliance Jio offered the bundled plans where the customers will get free unlimited voice calls and SMSs with any of the Jio data plans. As a result, voice calls became free for anyone on Jio’s network. Other operators also followed suit and started offering free unlimited local and STD voice calls all over the country to any network.
High-speed Affordable Broadband
Jio will launch Jio Gigafiber broadband service on August 15th. The service is rumored to offers high-speed fiber broadband services up to 1Gbps for as low as Rs 2000.
Other broadband service providers like the Airtel, ACT, Tikona and BSNL has already increased FUP limit up to 1TB from the earlier 300 GB in some circles while lowering the tariff.
Before the announcement of Jio Gigafiber, India’s telecom regulator TRAI has ruled that the minimum broadband speed cannot be less than 520 Kbps. With the launch of Gigafiber, it is expected to see some exciting offers announcement from the other broadband service providers to counter Jio service.
Increase in Online Streaming Services
Affordable and fast 4G data gave the people what they needed to stream media contents online without buffering or data cap issues.
Just after one year of launch, Jio recorded that they are serving 165 crore hours of content each month. Other streaming services like Hotstar has seen record-breaking numbers of online users during its live telecast of 2018 IPL season.
The launch of 4G Smartphone
After the launch of Jio, the demand for 4G compatible smartphone skyrocketed. Jio only supports 4G VoLTE devices, so to be able to use Jio 4G, people needed a 4G compatible device. Today in India, no Android smartphone comes without 4G VoLTE support even if its costs as low as Rs 5000.
Faster Mobile Data
Jio initially had blazing fast download speed reaching up to 5 MBps and even more in other parts of the country. While gradually the speed has become slower, and now users get around 1-2 MBps speed, it also forced others operators to step up their game and provide better speed. Companies like Airtel have been boasting about their 4G network being the fastest in the country.
Despite all the controversies surrounding the Jio and its offers, it is an undeniable fact that Jio has changed the telecom industry of India for better. The operators don’t take consumers for granted anymore and are always trying to offer better and better plans to retain their user base.