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India’s richest man unveils telecoms venture with free calls, cut-price data


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Reliance Industries, owned by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, on Thursday stormed into fourth-generation broadband services offering free voice calls and an introductory three-month no-charge data usage, sending dominant players such as Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular into a frenzy.

Reliance Communications has dropped a bomb in the telecom sector Reliance Jio 4G launch that offers free voice and super-cheap data rates, which has undeniably started a price war.

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani said his Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd unit will offer mobile phone calls for free, pressuring existing carriers to follow suit in what’s already one of the world’s lowest-priced wireless markets.

Market expects described the move as a “knockout punch”, they also feel that other operators like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular are likely to formulate a new pricing and marketing strategy over the next few days to protect their market share.

Post free offer, Jio’s plan of Rs. 149 offering unlimited voice calls with 300 MB of data is aimed at churning voice customers from its rivals, who get over 70 per cent of their revenues from voice.

The company is setting the target of acquiring 100 million customers in the “quickest time possible”.

RIL’s exhaustive plans are making India’s telecom operators rethink over their tariffs.

He said roaming charges will also be nil across India for Jio customers. For those heavy data users, monthly plans are available upto Rs4,999 per month. The users of the Jio 4G sim can avail unbelievable offers on internet packs as well as on the voice calls packs.

In other plans, there are free unlimited local, and STD 4G voice calls (VoLTE aka voice over LTE) and roaming free across the nation.

With the launch of Reliance Jio today the company showered customers with some unbeatable offers.

“Jio looks forward to co-operation and working together with the industry to achieve the vision of Digital India”.

Reliance says it plans to make money by selling additional subscriptions offering on-demand movies, music and live TV, along with a mobile wallet app and extra security features.

Compared globally, Reliance Jio’s tariffs are among the lowest.

Jio announced the setting-up of the Jio Digital India Start-up Fund. Jio will work on creating Jio Digital Entrepreneurship Hubs in key cities and towns of India.