NEW DELHI/ MUMBAI: In the ongoing tariff war, Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio), for a change , is playing catch up with incumbents by introducing plans for customers who are heavy data users but fall in the lower price point category.
Jio on Friday rolled out monthly tariff plans for Rs 199 and Rs 299 in which the subscriber gets Rs 1.2GB and 2GB a day respectively. This is expected to be the first of the offers that the Mukesh Ambani owned telco will launch keeping the coming year in mind .
Incumbents Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone too have recently rolled out the Rs 199 plan where customers get 1GB a day. The incumbents also have certain tariff plans that hover around the Rs 299 price point.
” Jio will have to enter the price band that competition has moved into . It is important that customers do not go untapped. Those who are not in the Rs 299 category will follow suit as well,” said a telecom analyst who did not want to be quoted.
Despite these offers , Jio’s July-September monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) of Rs154, will remain protected , said the analyst who did not want to be named.
The new offers are meant for one year old telco’s Prime subscribers, who are the set of customers that have taken up the one-time annual membership fee of Rs.99.
The Ambani owned telco’s cheapest plans start at Rs 149 where subscribers get 4GB for a month . The latest offers are expected to sit well between the lowest price point and the next one which starts at Rs 399 and is valid for 70 days at 1GB of data a day.
The telecom industry under a debt of Rs 5 lakh crore has been engulfed in tariff wars for the last one year, post Jio’s entry. As of September end quarter, the sector saw its average revenue (ARPU) plummet by 40% in a year’s time. And now although Jio has been steadily increasing its tariff, the ARPU remains on a downward trend, but sector experts expect stability in the coming year.
The battle for customers encompasses both data and voice plans and offers via handsets.
Airtel and Celkon on Friday said that they will offer Star 4G+ smartphone to customers at Rs 1249 under Airtel’s ‘Mera Pehla Smartphone’ initiative. This is the second device from Celkon under the partnership. Vodafone has an alliance with mobile brand Itel and recently the operator launched a cashback offer on the Itel A20 smartphone. These steps are to compete with Jio’s 4G feature phone that was launched this September.
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