Reliance JIO – this is one name that has stayed among the headlines even at the times when ‘demonetization’ and its side effects have been ruling the roost. The introduction of JIO on September 1,2016 created massive ripples in the Indian network market and stocks. Mukesh Ambani, the man who has been driving JIO, has captured the imagination of the masses like no one has done ever before in India. It is to be accepted that a lot of analysis has gone into the inception of JIO, but what has been most heart-warming from a layman’s view point is that JIO could satisfy the common man’s internet-hunger, at least temporarily.
First of all, JIO has made people understand that the tariffs levied by the other networks are way too higher than what actually should be. The other private competitors, namely AIRTEL,VODAFONE,AIRCEL etc.; had been charging heavily before JIO entered the scene, exploiting the tech-savy, internet-driven generation. The subscribers had no alternatives to choose from as all the networks were charging on similar lines. This is why the entry of JIO has made a among the Indians. JIO has encouraged the subscribers from all walks of the society to use internet to the maximum. The announcement of three months of free internet and calls has come as a boon to those who were struggling with the ever-increasing network tariffs.
The other networks could not compete with JIO in terms of rates and the only way to survive was to provide better quality of service. But instead, the other networks chose to diminish the quality of service provided by JIO, by not providing enough call-integration points. This clearly proved that the intention of these networks is mainly to increase profit and that customer satisfaction was not the actual priority. This coupled with the huge increase in JIO users, resulted in a fall in the quality of JIO services. The Government of India and TRAI had to enter the scene and direct the competitor networks to share interaction points to JIO.
Many of the competitor networks reduced their tariffs after a month, as it was evident that JIO was attracting most of their customers. They even started complaining JIO of evolving to be a predator among the service providers. Just when the other networks had a sigh of relief (as the JIO free offer was expected to end by December 31,2016) that Mr.Mukesh Ambani announced the extension of free services till March 31,2017. This is in addition to the provision of number portability to JIO. This is sure to cause huge losses to the other network providers as there would be a possibly huge dwindle in their customer base. It is to be noted that the service quality of JIO can only improve from here and that assures the growth of JIO.
There are rumors around that JIO rates will gradually increase after the initial honeymoon period. But my opinion is that, it cannot possibly go beyond the rates of that of the other network providers before JIO entered the market. And considering the association of Reliance with the Indian government, it is better to look forward to JIO than the other networks. JIO has necessitated the other networks to improve quality and charge at nominal rates in order to sustain in the market. It is thereby a revolution of its own kind. Hence, in all probability, irrelevant to whether JIO succeeds or not, the Indian telephonic networks will hereby be differentiated as PRE-JIO and POST-JIO periods.
Lets hope that this causes a gradual, yet stable change in the market, enabling the subscribers benefits to be maximized!!