Reliance Jio just recently announced that it will now charge 6 paise per minute for voice calls made to rival networks. The company also revealed that Jio to Jio calls will be free. Now, Reliance Jio has confirmed that those customers who recharged their mobile numbers on or before October 9 can still enjoy free call benefits. The telecom operator informed about the same via its official Twitter handle. “If you have recharged on or before October 9, you can continue enjoying free call benefits (even to non-Jio members), until your plan expires,” Reliance Jio said.
New Reliance Jio prepaid recharge IUC plans
Reliance Jio has already listed its new IUC plans with extra data benefits. To compensate for the cost additional IUC top-ups, Jio will be giving free additional 1GB of data for every 10-rupee spent. The Rs 10 top-up voucher ships with 124 minutes of IUC minutes to non-Jio numbers along with 1GB free additional data. There is also a Rs 20 voucher that offers 249 minutes of calls, coupled with 2GB of data.
The Rs 50 voucher bundles 656 minutes of calls to other networks. You also get an additional 5GB of data with this plan. The Rs 100 top-up voucher gives 1362 minutes of calls along with 10GB of extra data. It is important to note that these top-up packs will sit over and above the regular Jio prepaid recharge plans.
What is the reason behind Jio charging for outgoing calls?
The company has taken a hit of Rs 13,500 crore due to network connection charges, or interconnect usage charges (IUC). Reliance Jio’s decision to charge for voice calls comes after the TRAI floated a consultation paper to review if the regime timeline needs to be extended. In 2017, TRAI had slashed the IUC to 6 paise per minute. Earlier, IUC was 14 paise. TRAI had said that the regime would end by January 2020. Notably, Jio to Jio, landline calls, and calls made using WhatsApp or FaceTime and similar platforms will be free. Incoming calls from all the networks will also continue to be free for all the Reliance Jio users.
When will the IUC charges end on Reliance Jio users?
“Presently, this date is January 1, 2020. We are hopeful that the IUC charge will be done away with as per the current regulation and that this temporary charge will come to an end by December 31, 2019. And consumers will not have to pay this charge thereafter. In the meanwhile, consumers can continue to enjoy the additional data entitlement in lieu of the IUC top-up vouchers so that there is no effective tariff increase till 31st December 31, 2019,” Jio said.
So, for all recharges done by Jio users starting October 10, “calls made to other mobile operators will be charged at the prevailing IUC rate of 6 paise per minute through IUC top-up vouchers till such time that TRAI moves to zero termination charge regime.”