Reliance Jio may extend free offer beyond March 31

Reliance has extended free services till March 31 under  Happy New Year offer now according to new report Reliance could offer free services even beyond March 31, 2017.

“Jio may decide to extend freebies by a couple of months beyond March 2017 if incumbent telcos get more aggressive on 4G pricing,” Rajiv Sharma, telecom analyst at brokerage HSBC, said in a note seen by ET.

Analysts at Religare agreed that aggression by Jio’s rivals so early on in the game means that market share gains for the 4G entrant will not come easy, especially with the low penetration of associated handsets.

According to HSBC’s Sharma, Bharti Airtel’s latest free voice tariff plans suggest that the market leader is looking to take away the pricing lever being used by Jio to churn subscribers, a view backed by Brokerage house Religare.

Religare expressed surprise that Bharti had “given in to pricing so early even before Jio has started billing” and said this suggests the move was prompted by the high likelihood of Airtel customers subscribing to Jio as a second service

HSBC’s Sharma said Airtel could see “some ARPU erosion and margin decline” if its higher-end customers move to the new Rs 345 plan that offers 1 GB of 4G data and free local/STD calls to any network, although the data limit may not be too attractive for heavy users.

Religare does not think Bharti’s latest bucket plans would be “materially ARPU-dilutive for the company” but said it would strategically appear that the Sunil Mittal-led telco is “willing to toe the line” on free voice calls.

HSBC said the latest bundled tariff war could further “aggravate the difficulties” of GSM fringe players – Telenor India, Aircel and Tata Teleservices – which do not have comparable data services or data coverage. “We expect a rapid shift of pure 2G voice users to the low-end 4G plans (offered by top incumbents), which may accelerate sector consolidation and data penetration,” HSBC’s Sharma said. Brokerage Credit Suisse said the Indian telecom market is rapidly moving to a situation of free voice calls to all networks in bundled plans.

Everything you need to know about Jio Happy new year

New Free 4G Data FUP will be 1GB Per Day instead of current 4GB Per Day from 1st January 2017 under Jio Happy New Year offer. Jio customers on 'Welcome offer' will automatically move on to 'Happy New Year offer,' continue to get free data and calling till March 31

Airtel, idea and Vodafone has announced two packs which offer free calling anywhere in India

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