UPDATED – Reliance Jio doubles unlimited 4G data, voice offer to 6 months under invite system

reliance-jio-free-unlimited-offer-1-300x534Over the weekend, Reliance Jio has doubled the free, unlimited data and voice offer given on its LYF branded smartphones to six months from three months.

UPDATED: The change has been rolled back, and the MyJio app now shows a validity of only till August 2016. You will not get six months of free data.

Though no official intimation has been made on this subject, the company has quietly increased the validity of the unlimited preview packaged to November from August for those who those already under the scheme.

The company started selling its LYF phones with a unique ‘preview offer’ at the beginning of the month. The scheme, available only with an invite, entitled the user to unlimited data, voice, SMS and app usage for 90 days from the date of purchase of the device.

Invites are being handed out through Reliance Jio and Reliance Industries’ employees.

REASON FOR EXTENSION

It is not clear why the validity of the unlimited plan has been increased. But it could point to the fact that Reliance Jio now expects to go for commercial launch of its services only by December of this year.

The company was initially expected to hit commercial operations in April. However, it pushed it back due to complications around indoor coverage, activations and integration of Reliance Communications’ 850 MHz spectrum.

Anil Ambani-promoted Reliance Communications is yet to hand over its 850 MHz spectrum — to be integrated into Jio’s 4G network — in most places.

Though the Mukesh Ambani firm had expected to be able to build a robust and high-penetration network using its dual-spectrum holdings, it was unable to achieve satisfactory results, according to unconfirmed reports.

As a result, it was considered better by the company to delay the commercial launch by another 3-6 months and get RCom’s 850 MHz spectrum integrated into its operations.

RCom’s spectrum, being of low frequency, would be able to easily penetrate inside buildings and will also give far superior distance coverage in rural areas.

The original 1800-2300 MHz airwaves, on the other hand, would come in handy in catering to high demand areas such as inside cities and town centers.

The delay has somewhat disappointed anxious would-be customers in a country with one of the world’s poorest broadband penetration.

Though Jio’s rivals have, over the last one year, managed to take 4G broadband to most of the places in the country, customers are not able to use the services due to prohibitively high tariff.

Traditional telecom companies like Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular offer a 20-GB-per-month metered 4G connection for around Rs 2,500, while the average income of a household in India is only around Rs 10,000 per month.

Jio is expected to offer that much data in around Rs 699-799 per month.
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