Indian 4G newcomer Reliance Jio rolled out new low-cost unlimited data plans just days after the telecoms regulator advised it to drop its latest three-month complimentary offer to subscribers enrolling in Prime, a discount programme.
Jio confirmed it withdrew its Summer Surprise special offer, following pressure from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
Now, the operator announced what it said were unlimited plans without restrictions and with special benefits for Jio Prime members. Launched under the Dhan Dhana Dhan name, the plans start at INR309 ($4.72) for three months of unlimited SMS, calling and data, with the 1GB per day running at 4G speeds (after which Jio can reduce the speed). It also is offering 2GB a day at 4G speeds for INR509 for three months.
For non-Prime members, the operator is offering the two plans at INR408 and INR608 respectively.
The new three-month offers, with generous daily data allotments, actually turn out to be cheaper on an annual basis than its Summer Surprise deal, which offered unlimited data and free voice for INR303 a month, with the initial three months free.
Jio said in a statement it is implementing “the world’s largest migration from free to paid services… to smoothen the migration from free to paid services, Jio has implemented simple, affordable and regulatory compliant plans”.
Market leader Bharti Airtel earlier this week urged TRAI to take action against Jio for continuing with the free offer it was told to discontinue.
An Airtel representative told The Economic Times: “This is a classic example of old wine in a new bottle. We hope that the authority will act against this provocative disregard of their direction.”
Vodafone India also lodged an objection with TRAI, complaining Jio was violating the regulator’s advice.