Reliance Jio on Wednesday said it will charge its users 6 paise per minute on calls made to rival networks such as Airtel and Vodafone. Reliance Jio said it will compensate users by giving free data of equal value until TRAI completely abolishes interconnect usage (IUC) charges.
Reliance Jio said it had paid nearly Rs 13,500 crore as NET IUC charges to other operators in last three years. “The price differential of free voice on Jio network and exorbitantly high tariffs on 2G networks causes the 35 – 40 crore 2G customers of Airtel and Vodafone-Idea to give missed calls to Jio customers. Jio network receives 25 to 30 crore missed calls on a daily basis,” the company said in a statement
“This huge missed call phenomena converts the incoming calls to Jio into outgoing calls fromJio to other operators. The 25 to 30 crore missed calls per day should have resulted in 65 to 75 crore minutes of incoming traffic to Jio. Instead, the call back made by the Jio customers results in 65 to 75 crore minutes of outgoing traffic,” it added.
Reliance Jio said the 6 paise per minute tariff will not be applicable to Jio-to-Jio calls, all incoming calls, Jio to landline calls, and calls made using apps like WhatsApp or FaceTime. The company will provide priority allocation of the JioPhone to frequently called 2G users from its Jio subscribers. To compensate users, Reliance Jio has introduced IUC top-up vouchers with additional minutes and more bundled data.
TRAI in 2017 had dropped the IUC charges to 6 paise per minute from 14 paise. The regulator had then aimed to abolish IUC by January, 2020. TRAI, however, introduced a new consultation paper to review whether the regime timeline needs to be extended.