Reliance Jio to end free data from 31 March, but here's what you get for ₹99
- The free Jio era will come to an end on 31 March 2017.
- Reliance Jio plans to start charging for its services post March.
- It has cut out a program at ₹99/year for the prime membership to enjoy all the Happy New Year benefits.
What is Reliance Prime and how to enrol?
Reliance Prime is the next step to Jio's free data services. Reliance Industries chief Mukesh Ambani has announced the Jio Prime membership at the recent event. Users have to pay Rs 99 annual fee to become a Jio Prime member. Once enrolled as a Prime member, you then have to pay flat Rs 303 per month, which essential amounts to Rs 10 per day to enjoy all the benefits of the 'Happy New Year' plan until 31 March, 2018.
Reliance Jio Prime is for all existing Jio users, which means over 100 million users and anyone who joins the Jio network before 31 March, 2017. You can enrol for Jio Prime from 1 March, 2017 to 31 March, 2017 on the MyJio app for Android or iOS or by visiting Jio.com. To become a member, users can also visit Reliance Digital, Jio Retail Store or any Jio Partner Store.
The big question - Will users continue using Jio as the services go paid?
At the event, Mukesh Ambani said that in the coming months, Jio will have more than double the data capacity. Jio network will cover all Indian cities, towns and villages, almost 99% of the population, he added.
However, going by reports, there have been mixed views whether people will embrace or ditch Jio services once they go paid. Fitch Ratings expects Jio to start losing customers once it starts the paid service, and believes it will benefit Airtel. We asked a few existing Jio users too.
Daman Doshi, a Mumbai-based executive of a leading advertising company said that she hasn't ditched her other SIM, despite owing Jio. And, has no plans to opt for the Prime offer, simply because the quality offered by Jio isn't up to mark.
Sakshi, a Bengaluru-based HR executive said she loves the data speed offered by Jio but the poor call quality is a deal breaker. As she already has an Airtel postpaid SIM, there are no plans of opting for Jio Prime. "The mobile Internet is very fast, but I require it when only outdoors, owing to Wi-Fi at office and home. But, it's the poor call quality and network issues that come with Jio that are a deal breaker," she said.
Shilpa Prabhu from Pune had earlier told us, "It's bad and then suddenly the connection is very good. It's frustratingly slow during the day and faster at nights. But the calling functionality annoys the most as every call I make gets disconnected at least a couple of times. I don't plan to continue it post the free offer due to the calling issue." Talking about the Prime offer, she said, "No, I always used Jio has a secondary SIM and plan to continue to do so. I will not opt for the Prime offer. Rudra, a college student, finds the scheme extremely lucrative, with messaging and social media has his prime modes of communication.
In a nutshell, the Jio plan is extremely affordable, capable enough to give other telcos a run for their money. However, the network glitches could act as a hindrance. But there is no denying that it attract the young crowd looking for lucrative data plans. Those existing users, who do not opt for the prime offer, will have their SIM transformed into a prepaid or postpaid SIM, following the usual tariff.