24 November, 2020

Free Dole Spurs Magic SIM Surge

The three-month-old Reliance SIM has hit the ­telecom ­market hard. How long will the free run last?

Waiting Line
A notice outside a shop ­depicts the high demand for the Jio sim
Photograph by Sanjay Rawat
Free Dole Spurs Magic SIM Surge

Three months ago, when Reliance Industries chief Mukesh Ambani launched Reliance Jio’s services with the path-breaking “everything free” offer with free voice calls for life, Arpita Pal Agarwal, partner and leader in the telecom sector at PWC had told Outlook that Jio’s entry would force the incumbent telecom companies to go back to their drawing boards and ­relook at their tariffs as pricing for services would come down significantly.

Three months down the line, her words have proved prophetic as telecom players in India have tried every trick in the book to match Reliance Jio’s too-good-to-be-true offer. In the first three months itself, they have seen a significant dent in their revenues as Reliance Jio added 53 million subscribers in under three months. Jio’s disruptive pricing has now forced all the existing telecom players to re-launch their offerings with battered down tariffs and bundled offers.

Earlier this week, market leader Airtel launched a free Airtel-to-Airtel calling offer for its pre-paid users, who...



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