At 11am, when Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani starts presenting his company’s performance over the past year, he is widely expected to unveil the most ambitious plan of the group so far: Reliance Jio Infocomm.
The annual general meeting may witness the launch of the much-anticipated tariff plans of Jio, a source familiar with the proceedings told HT.
Jio is also expected to shortly file its tariff plans with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) and these will be effective once the three-month free voice and data trial offer lapses.
Reportedly, Ambani is pumping in ₹1.5 lakh crore into his ambitious telecom venture --- a national digital empire stretching from phones and hardware to home entertainment and custom-made apps.
“As we saw in 2012-13, India is 150th in the world in mobile broadband penetration as well as quality. Jio has really been conceived to change this position,” Mukesh said in an interview to CNN in February.
Jio saw a soft-launch in December 2015, when RIL offered mobile connections and discounted handsets to its over 100,000 employees.
Meanwhile, telecom operators in India are waging a price war to retain and acquire customers ahead of Reliance Jio’s (RelJio) formal launch. Experts say RelJio is set to disrupt the telecom industry with cheap data.
“Whenever a new player enters an industry, there are chances of disruption. RelJio could be that player,” said Prashant Singhal, global telecommunications leader at EY, said.
Over a decade ago, Reliance Infocomm’s launch of a Samsung phone for ₹501 and very cheap calling rates in 2002 triggered an aggressive price war. Six years later, telecom companies started slashing prices after Tata Docomo started per second billing.
“Operators are definitely cutting rates. Rel Jio’ s launch will be a big challenge for the industry and it will be irresponsible for telcos to ignore it,” Mahesh Uppal, senior telecom analyst and owner of ComFirst, said.
Bharti Airtel, on Monday slashed prepaid data rates by as much as 80%. The company currently has 38 million 4G and 3G users in India. Under the new schemes customers can avail a gigabyte (GB) of data for ₹51.