India 4G operator Reliance Jio Infocomm is planning to suspend its free 4G services – in phases — to several million customers, who did not recharge for becoming its paid subscriber, from tonight.
Reliance Jio earlier announced that it added 72 million paid mobile customers to its 4G network after announcing the Prime membership offer. Reliance Jio Infocomm, a telecom operator promoted by India’s richest person Mukesh Ambani, had earlier grabbed 100 million subscribers for its free offers.
The telecom operator, which has invested more than $20 billion, is yet to announce the latest subscriber data.
An internal communication to Reliance Jio Infocomm employees said that “from midnight onwards degradation of select non recharged customers will start. The customers will be a mix of different types of customers across all JCs. The sample size will be small tomorrow and will ramp up later.”
“Messages will be sent to these customers informing them of the degradation and urging them to recharge immediately. The message will say that all data and outgoing calls will be barred. In reality outgoing voice calls will be allowed between Jio and Jio customers tomorrow and pulled back later,” the internal communication says.
To avoid degradation or disruption in services, Jio customers need to spend Rs 408 and get unlimited data and voice calls on 4G networks for 3 months.
Reliance Jio in a statement issued to media on April 11 said that existing customers, who have not done their first recharge, need to do so by 15 April 2017 to avoid degradation and / or discontinuation of services. The April 11 communication did not specifically talk about the starting date for the discontinuation of services.
Today’s internal communication is pointing that discontinuation or degradation of 4G services will happen in phases only. Some 4G subscribers of Jio have already started facing disruptions or no connectivity from April 15 mid-night.
Recently, telecom operators such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone approached the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to suspend free services from Reliance Jio. During the promotion period, Airtel and Vodafone started airing campaigns on mobile data networks to attract new customers and retain its existing ones.