Jio to continue aggressive offer; Airtel, Vodafone upgrade networks

19 Jan 2017

India’s disruptive cellular newcomer Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio) is reportedly considering introducing another aggressive promotional offer when its current drive ends on 31 March, the Economic Times writes, citing unnamed sources familiar with the development. According to the sources, the new promotion will run to the end of June 2017 and will charge customers a fee of around INR100 (USD1.47) for data, whilst voice services will continue to be free. The 4G cellco’s previous and ongoing offers included free unlimited voice, data and messaging services, attracting more than 72 million subscribers within four months but also drawing accusations from the incumbents that Jio was engaged in predatory pricing.

As part of their efforts to tackle the newcomer, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone – the market’s two largest cellcos by subscribers – have continue to expand and improve their infrastructure. For its part, Airtel has implemented a dual carrier (DC) upgrade to its 3G network in Rajasthan, having first utilised the technology in Delhi earlier this week. The upgrade combines two 5MHz carriers in the 2100MHz band to boost data transfer rates to ‘4G like’ speeds of up to 42Mbps. Vodafone, meanwhile, rolled out its ‘SuperNet’-branded 4G service to 17 circles and expects the service to be available in 2,400 towns and cities by the end of March 2017.