New Call Charges, Facts Jio Users Must Know
Since its inception in 2016, Reliance Jio has been offering free calling services in India with voice-over-DTE to provide voice services on its 4G network. However, the telecom industry might be lining up in a big shakeup as a significant player in the market, Reliance Jio, will now charge the Interconnect Usage Charge (IUC) from its subscribers for calls they make leading to new call charges. Here are the facts Jio users must know:
- The IUC is the tariff paid by one mobile telecom operator to another when the customers of one mobile network make outgoing mobile calls to the operator’s mobile network.
- The calls between two networks are known as mobile off-net calls, as defined by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and as these calls end on another network, one network is liable to pay charges to another network.
- The current IUC levied by mobile networks handling incoming calls from rival networks is 6 paisa.
- Even though the charges will be only 6 Paisa or Rs 0.06 per minute, it will be the first time that the Jio users will have to pay for outgoing calls.
- Jio is undergoing regulatory policy changes for mobile call related charges; it will be recovering the IUC for all non-Jio mobile calls. This means that the Jio-to-Jio calls, incoming calls, calls made to a landline number and those using Whatsapp, Skype and other platforms to calls will not have to pay charges whereas calls to other mobile operators like Vodaphone, Airtel, and BSNL will be charged.
Will Jio continue to keep its Promise?
Although, Jio is recovering charges of 6 Paisa per minute; it has assured that it will keep its promise of ensuring free voice calls for life. The IUC is applicable only till the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will migrate the charges to the zero termination charge. According to the latest ruling by the regulator, UIC for mobile calls will be zero only from 1st January 2020 which concludes that the Jio users will have to pay IUC till the end of this year.
The Vouchers: Talktime and Data
While the calls are not free, the Jio users have to buy special recharge vouchers that offer additional data benefits and predefined free call minutes for calls made to other mobile networks at no additional cost per call within that limit.
- 10 Rs. Top Up: The top-up voucher will provide the user with 124 minutes of non-UIC calls to non-Jio mobile networks along with 1 GB free additional data.
- 20 Rs. Top Up: The voucher offers 249 minutes of calls along with 2GB of data.
- 50 Rs. Top Up: 656 minutes of calls to other mobile networks and 5GB of data.
- 100 Rs. Top Up: The voucher allows for 1,362 minutes of calls along with 10GB of additional data.
For postpaid customers of the Reliance Jio, the company will bill them 6 paise per minute for off-net outgoing calls with a corresponding increase in free data entitlement.
The idea of Jio charging money for calls will take a toll on the company’s image as it promised to provide lifetime free voice calling to any other network, the company however assured that it will keep up with its promise.
Jio has also stated in its official statement in 2017 that “The price differential of free voice on Jio network and exorbitantly high tariffs on 2G networks causes the 35 – 40 crore 2G customers of Airtel and Vodafone-Idea to give missed calls to Jio customers. Jio network receives 25 to 30 crore missed calls daily.”
The company further added, “This huge missed call phenomenon converts the incoming calls to Jio into outgoing calls from Jio to other operators. The 25 to 30 crore missed calls per day should have resulted in 65 to 75 crore minutes of incoming traffic to Jio. Instead, the call back made by the Jio customers results in 65 to 75 crore minutes of outgoing traffic”. In the last three years, Jio has paid nearly Rs. 13,500 crore as net charges to the other operators.