Reliance Jio, India’s largest telecom operator, has reduced the validity of its long-term recharges from 1 year to 11 months. Other operators continue to offer 1 year validity for their yearly plans.
Jio used to offer two yearly plans – one priced at Rs 2,020 and another priced at Rs 1,299.
The costlier plan was geared towards voice and data users and came with a daily data allowance of Rs 1.5 GB/day, while the cheaper plan targeted voice users and offered a total of 24 GB of data for the entire year, with no daily cap.
Over the weekend, the company has replaced or modified these yearly plans so that the long-term recharges now offer only 11 months (336 days) of validity in place of 12 months (365 days).
This is equivalent to a price increase of 8.7%.
In terms of daily cost, the Rs 1,299 plan used to cost Rs 3.56 per day, it now costs Rs 3.87 per day.
Similarly, the 1.5 GB/day plan used to cost Rs 5.81 per day, but now costs Rs 6.31 per day.
NARROWING PRICE GAP
The price increase implemented by Reliance Jio indicate a growing confidence on the part of the operator that it no longer has to worry about its customers going back to their previous operators like Vodafone, Idea and Airtel.
Post this increase, the price gap between Reliance Jio and others have narrowed substantially as far as long-term recharges are concerned.
Going by the new rates, Jio’s long-term recharge costs Rs 1,411 per year (365 days), compared to Rs 1,499 for the others — a difference of 6%.
Similarly, the 1.5 GB/day plan from Jio costs Rs 2,304 for 365 days, compared to Rs 2,399 for the others, a difference of just 4%.
At one time, the incumbent operators’ plans were about 20-25% costlier than those of Jio.
Reliance Jio has emerged as a strong contender in the Indian telecom market.
Besides intense price competition from the new entrant, the other operators — Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea — have also been hit by a levy of around Rs 1 lakh cr resulting from a recent judgment by a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra.
Given that Vodafone Idea does not have the wherewithal to pay the dues imposed by the bench, there is a good chance that the court may order the winding up of the company next month.
Once that happens, Jio is expected to get further pricing power and be able to further strengthen its position in the market.