"Reliance Jio's tariff hike is prima facie positive for the industry as it enables other operators to raise tariffs too.Other operators may see a drop in calls terminating on their networks, but the tariff hike should be able to compensate for it well". Reliance Jio will offer free data entitlement of equivalent value to compensate the customers to some extent. Incoming calls to Jio will continue to be free of charge.
For prepaid users, outgoing calls to other operators will be charged 6 paise per minute from their talk time amount. The Rs 20 IUC voucher will come with 249 non-Jio minutes and 2GB of additional data.
"... The consultation paper has created regulatory uncertainty and therefore Jio has been compelled, most reluctantly and unavoidably, to recover this regulatory charge of 6 paise per minute for all off-net mobile voice calls so long as IUC charges exist", the company said in a statement.
Back in 2017, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (better known as TRAI) chose to eliminate IUC charges, with effect from January 2020.
Shares of Reliance Industries rose as much as 3.03 per cent to Rs 1,366 on the BSE a day after its telecom arm reliance Jio Infocomm announced that it will charge 6 paise per minute for outgoing calls made to other network operators like Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea.
IUC for mobile calls was reduced from 14 paise per minute to 6 paise per minute from October 1, 2017. The same amendment also stated that IUC for all mobile calls will be made zero from January 1, 2020. Alternatively the TRIA decision could be nothing new and Jio is just using it as a smokescreen to start taking back some of its freebies.
However, last month, TRAI appeared to flip-flop, issuing a consultation paper that reviewed its 2017 diktat. The charges will not apply on outgoing calls to other Jio numbers, landline connections, or calls via WhatsApp, FaceTime or similar applications. This means that irrespective of what recharge plan you have, you'll be required to purchase a separate IUC top-up voucher to make voice calls to other networks.
"Relying on the repeated stance of TRAI and the amendment already made to the regulations reducing the IUC to Zero, Jio continued to pay IUC from its own resources to Airtel and Vodafone-Idea etc. while offering free voice to its customers". In fact, RJIo is giving additional data with IUC top-up vouchers so that there is no effective tariff increase till December 31, 2019.