R-Jio 4G Launch: A Bold Move Towards Digital India
Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani unveiled a host of offers of Reliance Jio during the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). These announcements are a “bold move” towards digitizing millions in the rural parts of the country, setting a tough benchmark for its competitors, according to analysts.
Reacting to the array of announcements made by Ambani, analysts said data mining is the future and Jio is a “perfectly-planned” move towards that. ”To make digital revolution a success in our country, especially for millions of rural Indians, data mining is the future. I feel Jio is targeting nearly 450 million feature phone users who will make a shift to smartphones in the near future,” Tarun Pathak, Senior Analyst, Mobile Devices and Ecosystems, Counterpoint Research, told IANS. “With its disruptive pricing and lucrative offers, Jio is set to beat the rivals and become their first choice,” he said.
Tanu Sharma, Associate Director, Large Corporates, India Ratings & Research believes the launch of RJio will accelerate 4G adoption in India, backed by its attractive tariffs, low cost handset pricing and perceived superior quality of services driven by its huge investment in network.
RJio, which is officially launching services from 5 September 2016, will offer data services free for four months, after which it will offer 10 tariff plans, starting at INR19 a day for occasional users, INR149 a month for low data users and INR4,999 a month for heavy data users.
“Prima-facie RJio’s pricing is not just highly competitive but also challenges the prevalent tariff structures as RJio will offer free voice calling and SMS services bundled with the data tariff. This could hurt the voice tariffs and average revenue per user (ARPU) of existing operators as well as push them to match the pricing, in a bid to protect their market share,” Sharma said.
Asheer Kapoor, Managing Director, EPPS Infotech said, ”We are mighty impressed with the launch of Reliance Jio services. This initiative will definitely encourage our nation to become digitally empowered. I’m confident that Mukesh Ambani’s vision of making India a data abundance country and our Government’s relentless efforts in revolutionizing India will see light in the immediate future. The mobility aspect will further rise in the overall business considerations and even for technology solutions such as ERP which are largely perceived to be desktop oriented, the smartphone capability will come into prominence.”
As Reliance gets ready to launch the Jio 4G services, the telecom price war has already begun, two months ahead of the event. Other Indian private players like Airtel and Idea Cellular, have slashed prices and increased the benefits of up to 67 per cent, on the existing price plans. While many expect Reliance to be a low-cost option for consumers, the price war has started due to that reason, and hence companies are looking to provide more benefits on currently priced plans, which makes it more cost effective for consumers.
However, what will make the difference, is the bundling offer which some fear Reliance might continue to offer. It would mean, free voice services, but bundled with value for money 4G data plans, which just might disrupt the short-term market positions of many telcos.
But what Reliance Jio actually ends up doing, it is bound to be more easy on the pocket for a lot of consumers, and would inherently have a market disruption plan up its sleeves.
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