Airtel dials TRAI to ask Jio to stop Dhan Dhana Dhan offer

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Billionaire Mukesh Ambani does not want to give up in the 900 million plus mobile customer market that is dominated by Sunil Mittal’s Bharti Airtel.

Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan offer, another cost effective 4G plan announced yesterday night, indicates that Mukesh Ambani does not want to create unhappy customers in India – especially after cancelling the Jio Summer Surprise offer abruptly.

Reliance Jio stopped Summer Surprise offer following advice from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) headed by RS Sharma. Before stopping the extension of free offer till June-end, Jio added 72 million paid subscribers.

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Converting its entire 100 million plus free customers to paid customers is becoming a huge challenge for Mukesh Ambani and team. That’s why Reliance Jio did not make much change in the new data offer though the first plan was stopped by TRAI.

There is not much difference – in terms of benefits — between the Jio Summer Surprise and the Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan offers. That’s why Airtel has complained to TRAI to take up the matter and stop Jio from offering such freebies in a new bottle. Earlier, Vodafone India wrote a letter to TRAI Chairman RS Sharma to ask Jio to suspend all free offers.
Jio network displayThe cost for Jio Summer Surprise was Rs 402 (Rs 303 for recharge + Rs 99 for prime membership) for accessing 1 GB of data per day for 3 months and the benefits of the Rs 303 recharge. Free voice and roaming services are part of all services from Reliance Jio.

Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan has two packages. First gives unlimited SMS, voice calling and 1GB data per day for 3 months for Rs 309. Second plan gives unlimited SMS, voice calling and 2GB data per day for 3 months for Rs 509. Spending Rs 99 for prime membership is important to be part of the new data plans. April 15 is the last date for subscribing to new plans.

At present, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular have not yet framed their plans to counter Jio’s latest data plans. The bundled offer with voice and data can itself put additional pressure on the voice business of top telecom operators. Voice revenue contributes more than 70 percent of total revenue of big operators.

Telecom operators such as Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Vodafone, Aircel, BSNL and Tata Docomo are facing pressure to retain their mobile subscriber base due to free offers, which started from September 2016, from Reliance Jio. Top telecoms are also facing drop in revenue growth since Jio is adding subscribers.

Baburajan K
editor@telecomlead.com