Highlighting the disruption it has caused in the market with its 'customer friendly' tariff plans, Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries (RIL) has said that the group telecom arm Reliance Jio now has 130 million subscribers within a year of its launch.
In a letter to employees of the new telco of September 5, Ambani said Jio’s services had led to a ‘gigantic spurt in data consumption’ and lauded the staff for their work on network, infrastructure, technology and customer service.
“Your efforts will make Digital India a reality, and its positive impact on India’s economic growth is the next logical development that we are beginning to witness,” Ambani said.
“In this past one year, we have broken several records, both in India and globally. But what gives me the biggest personal satisfaction is to have broken the myth that India is not ready to adopt advanced technology,” Ambani said in the letter.
Jio had netted 100 million users in 170 days of launch, which the mobile phone operator said was the fastest in the world.
“The way the country has embraced 4G technology and the way it is being used is already a case study for quantum technology leaps,” he added.
Post Jio, data consumption in India has shot from 20 crore GB a month to more than 150 crore GB a month,. The consumer is paying up to 50% less on his monthly bills as incumbent telcos have slashed voice and data rates to prevent users from porting to Jio, thus putting pressure on revenue and profitability. Jio offers free voice and dirt cheap data for its services.
The severe price wars forced a wave of consolidation in the industry with merger announcements between Idea Cellular and Vodafone India; Rcom, Aircel and MTS and Bharti Airtel buying Telenor India.
The new operator last month launched its 4G VoLTE feature phone – JioPhone – for effectively free, which is set to unleash another wave of disruption in the handset and the telecom services market. Through JioPhone – which is SIM-locked with the new operator - Jio plans to target the 500 million feature phone users, who currently form a bulk of voice users of India’s top telcos Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular.