Reliance Jio surely knows how to make its users happy on New Year’s. India’s biggest telecom has announced today that it is making all domestic calls free starting 1st January 2021. You will be able to “place calls from your Jio number to any domestic network across India” free of cost.
If you remember, Jio received a ton of flak when it decided to start charging for calls users make to other domestic networks earlier last year. The company had promised users lifetime free calls when it launched in India back in 2016.
Due to a delay in the implementation of the ‘Bill and Keep regime‘ by TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) in 2020, Jio says that it had no option but to charge the applicable IUC (interconnect usage charges) when you make calls to networks outside Jio. It led the company to ramp up the prices of its 4G LTE tariff plans in India back in 2019. It started charging 6 paise per minute (the IUC charge set by TRAI) for calls to Airtel, Idea, or BSNL numbers from Jio’s network.
Free Voice Calls to Any Network from Jio
Now, in an official press release, Reliance Jio has shared that the ‘IUC regime’ for domestic voice calls will come to an end today. It will be replaced with the ‘Bill and Keep regime’ on 1st January 2021. Thus, the company has reiterated its promise and decided to once again make all off-net domestic voice calls free. On-net domestic voice calls have always been free for Jio users if you didn’t already know.
Further, Reliance Jio added that it strives for India “to be a free-voice nation, with the majority of smartphone users enjoying free voice calls.” This is certainly a great New Year’s gift to its subscribers from Jio.
The company currently has more than 406 million subscribers and only offers 4G LTE services in India. Jio is aiming to be the first to roll out 5G network services in the second half of 2021. It has urged the government to introduce new policies to speed up the spectrum auction and testing process. The company also plans to contribute to the Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiative with the use of indigenously-developed hardware and technology components.