Speculations have been flowing around, especially from those who take statements seriously when a competitor talks about it. In the case of Jio network, there have been a lot of people already claiming that Jio is hiding the facts and will eventually start charging the users for voice calls, which they had promised to offer for free, irrespective of whether it is the Welcome Offer or a commercial user later on.
Update: We have reached out to Jio for an update regarding the data call charges after March 31st 2017. Under Jio Prime or any other plan, calls will still be free as promised.
Let’s first learn why the other network operators and thus, several users are saying that Reliance Jio will charge the users for voice calls.
The fight between the telecom operators in India with Reliance Jio has been going on since the day Mukesh Ambani, the Chairman of Reliance Industries Limited announced Jio and said that Jio is going to offer free calls for life. When Reliance isn’t going to charge the user a penny for a voice call, how will it pay the other network operators? For those unaware about it, there is a certain interconnect charge paid by the caller network to the receiver network, and only if the operators agree to pay each other, the Interconnect points are opened by the receiver network.
When Jio won’t pay this, it is obvious that the operators like Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, Tata Docomo and others will not allow incoming calls made from Jio network. In the recent developments, a couple of them, mainly Airtel has mentioned that it cooperates with Reliance and will open a certain number of points so that it does not cause instability.
But what will happen after January 1st, when the Jio network starts charging its users with the monthly plans?
At the Jio Experience Center visit yesterday, my main question was this. After all, this is a major concern and since many of us take Jio as the game changer when it comes to voice calls, will the network provider eventually change its word?
Never, we will stick to our word. Even if we have to take the burden of charges until the other operators come to an agreement, we will. But the end users will get calling for free. That will stay, no matter what, said one of the team members of Jio (cannot be named).
This is against any rumors that go on to claim that Reliance is just luring the users with the free calls tag and then will change the word later. The fact that Jio network is a True 4G network and calls happen on data network, Reliance is offering it for free and the operator won’t charge for the data used during these voice calls. Not hard to understand, right?
According to the same spokesperson for Jio who gave us a wonderful tour of the Experience Center of Jio, there was a point in the recent past where these POI charges were going to be scrapped and the network operators could keep the money they charge for the calls and they don’t have to pay anything to the receiver network. But then, the union of operators didn’t let that happen and it could hit Reliance hard if the operators demand a fee or keep blocking calls made from Jio.
One can foresee a point ahead where, for the fear of losing subscribers (who want free calls) to Jio, should agree to offer the Interconnect points to Jio and the entire scene could change from what it is right now. The subscribers who are using Jio under the Welcome offer right now have a poor experience with calling because of two major reasons – 1. Lack of knowledge about 4G, VoLTE, 3G and differences between them, and 2. The call blocks that are resulting in the network busy tone almost always.