With a little over a month left for the second trial period to end, Reliance Jio is in the news again as Mr.Ambani made another of his speeches with the same dull blue background. For the third consecutive time, that seemingly boring background had something interesting to display.
Jio will finally start charging its customers, who are now more than 100 million in number. While that is an impressive customer base, remember that Jio is in essence, using a freemium model. They got to 100 million so fast on the back of their free trials and now they need to test how many of those will turn into paying customers. There’s a pretty good chance that it will be a healthy conversion.
Today’s announcement certainly helps in that regard. For Rs.99, the existing customers can “enroll” in a “Prime” membership, which allows them to then pay a fixed amount of Rs.303 per month to get the same benefits that the current trial offers, i.e., 1GB high-speed internet per day, unlimited voice calls/SMS and access to a bunch of content apps.
For those who do not enroll in this subscription, Jio will start charging as per their tariff plans from April 1. If you’re looking only for the unlimited voice calls feature, your best bet is the Rs.149 plan that is valid for 28 days. It offers only 300MB of data, but includes unlimited voice calls.
My last performance update post for Jio is due at the end of March, but going by what I’ve seen so far this year, the network continues to be unreliable for high-speed internet usage, for the simple reason that it is clogged all the time. Voice calling has definitely improved and unless Airtel counters with a similar plan, I just might stick to Jio’s 149 plan from April.