Reliance Jio breaks its promise; to charge for calls to rival networks

Reliance Jio IUC regime change explainer Here’s everything you need to know

Reliance Jio logo. Representational image

Currently, Jio subscribers pay for only data, while voice is free. The 6 paise is the current Interconnect Usage Charge (IUC) fixed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

"Reliance Jio's tariff hike is prima facie positive for the industry as it enables other operators to raise tariffs too.Other operators may see a drop in calls terminating on their networks, but the tariff hike should be able to compensate for it well".

The possible change of timeline for introducing zero IUC, Jio said had led to the uncertainty of IUC phase-out deadline and it can't continue to bear Rs 13,500 crore losses on account of IUC by offering free voice calls to rivals' network from its network. I am sure the lot of them used to taunt any other network users for even thinking about using anything other than Reliance Jio.

For a significant time period Jio users sat on a pedestal due to their cheap tariffs and internet plans. "Presently, this date is 1st January 2020", the Reliance Jio said.

Jio post-paid connections will also have to pay the 6 paise per minute charge for outgoing calls. "So far, in the last three years Jio has paid almost Rs.13,500 crore as NET IUC charges to the other operators", said Jio in the statement.

Earlier on Wednesday, Jio said that it will start charging its customers for outgoing calls made to rival networks at 6 paise a minute, but will compensate them by giving free data of equal value.

Jio has made a decision to charge its users for outgoing calls to offload the pressure of interconnect usage charge (IUC) rates set by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

With Reliance Jio announcing 6 paise per minute charge for voice calls to rival networks, Vodafone Idea on Wednesday termed the announcement "an action of undue haste" and Airtel termed the Mukesh Ambani-owned company's move a forced tactics to reduce interconnection charges.

It may be recalled that in 2017 Trai had slashed the IUC to 6 paise per minute from 14 paise.

However, to make up for these additional charges that the consumers will have to face going forward, Jio will offer other data with these top-up recharges for free.

These charges are not applicable to calls made by Jio users to other Jio phones and to landline phones and calls made using WhatsApp, FaceTime and other such platforms. The telecom regulator has said that the IUC charges will be made zero by January 1, 2020. "With effect from your next recharge, post October 10, all calls to non-Jio mobile numbers will be charged at 6 paise/minute", a statement by the company said on October 9. There are similar vouchers valued at Rs 20, 50, and 100, which give proportionally more call minutes.

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