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Jio battles incumbents as Airtel launches Rs 1495 free data plan

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MUMBAI: The fisticuffs continue in the 4G telecom marketplace. Even as Reliance Jio has been waging a war of press releases, highlighting how many of its subscribers’ calls are being refused by Idea, Airtel and Vodafone, the Sunil Mittal-led telco today too issued a press release through which it is taking a jab at the Mukesh Ambani-owned telco’s free call and data offer.

Airtel says it has started offering a free data package for Rs 1495 only, and for prepaid customers only. If you are paying for it, then how is it free? Airtel explains that consumers can surf at wild speeds up to the 30GB data and 90-day limit, after which the accelerator needle will drop to 64kbps. And that’s when the free part of surfing will come in – but at super slow speed.

At the price of Rs 1495 for 30 GB means the data is coming your way cheaper than the Reliance Jio offer of Rs 50 for a GB. The only difference is you are plonking down the money upfront.

Will Reliance Jio react to this outrageous offer from a rival telco? No one knows, but it definitely has reacted to rival telco Idea on another front: that of call drops. It says that the Aditya Birla group-owned Idea is blocking out calls from Jio customers, refusing them connectivity. Says the Jio press release: “Adequate interconnection capacity so that call failure rate is less than 5 per 1,000 is a license obligation of all telecom operators. As against this, over 750 calls per 1,000 are failing per day between Idea and Jio networks, which translates to four crore calls failing per day. Over 12 crore calls fail daily between Jio and the networks of Airtel, Vodafone and Idea. This is a breach of licence conditions by the incumbent operators and severely impacts customer interests. This is against zero call failures on the Jio network.”

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