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Jio extends HNY free data offer up to 31 March '17

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MUMBAI: Taking a significant lead over the incumbent telecom operators, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani today showed some more `datagiri’ while announcing a slew of new offers and initiatives that all had an underline themes of Digital 2017 and Happy New Year (HNY).

Ambani, while addressing RIL employees and stakeholders in a meeting, revealed that starting 4 December 2016, every new Jio user will get data, voice, video and the full bouquet of Jio applications free till 31 March, 2017. He also added that all the existing customers will get extended benefits of Jio Happy New Year offer on the existing SIMs.

Speaking about Jio's success, India's richest man said that it was the fastest-growing technology company in the world. He said that the e-KYC (know your customer or the customer verification process) allowed the activation of SIM within five minutes -- the fastest experience for SIM activation in the world.

Ambani said that Jio successfully rolled out e-KYC across 200,000 outlets in India, which is nearly equal to ATMs in India. “We are in the process of doubling this network to 400,000 digitally enabled outlets by March of 2017,” he added.

RIL CMD also mentioned that, in the first three months, Jio has grown faster than Facebook, Whatsapp or Skype. “In 83 days, Jio added 50 million customers on its 4G LTE all-IP wireless broadband network.”

However, swelling subscriber numbers are also a burden on the infrastructure; especially when 50 million+ customers vie to take full advantage of the free Jio `Welcome Offer.”
On an average, a Jio customer, as per claims, is using 25 times more data than the average Indian broadband user. And, Jio signed up over 600,000 customers every day for the past three months. According to Ambani, a Jio customer today is consuming data “on par” with and, in many cases, “more” than sophisticated users anywhere in the world.

Still, admitting that Reliance has found out few issues with data speed on Jio network, Ambani said that about eight per cent of Jio towers experienced “congestion” due to “abnormally high data usage, which resulted in customers served by such telecom towers experienced lower data speeds.

“While 92 per cent of our base stations and customers have been experiencing consistently high data speeds, we are working to de-congest these eight per cent towers, so that impacted customers go back to experiencing true-4G speeds. On the whole, Jio is not only delivering four times more data than all other Indian telecom operators combined, but also much faster throughputs than any other mobile network in India.”

Reliance Jio, which has been at loggerheads with other telecom operators and also the telcos’ apex industry body COAI, is now playing the customer card having announced expansions and new initiatives like digital wallet/money.

Dwelling on indifferent to bad voice services on Jio network, Ambani took a pot-shot at competition: “While customers have shown unprecedented love for Jio services, we have not received the required support from existing operators. In the last three months, nearly 9000 million voice calls from Jio customers to the networks of our three largest competitors were blocked... We thank the government and regulator for enforcing the licence conditions.”

Targeting the high-end customers, who, probably, don’t have time to go to a Jio store to acquire a SIM card and want to retain their existing phone numbers, Reliance is offering SIM delivery at home and full number portability. “I am happy to inform that Jio now fully supports mobile number portability,” Ambani said, adding free home delivery and e-KYC features were being launched across India through the MyJio application to be available in the top 100 cities by 31 December 2016.

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