Mukesh Ambani dropped a bomb at Reliance Industries' AGM on Thursday when he announced official launch of Reliance Jio with plans that include free voice calling for life. Jio is also offering 4G data at a fraction of the cost offered by current telcos, which will well and truly disrupt the market.
Reliance Jio's 4G services will become available from Monday absolutely free as part of the 'Jio welcome offer', which means anyone can try them at no charge. This Reliance Jio welcome offer will be valid till December 31, after which the announced rates will be applicable.
Free voice calling and lucrative data prices are sure to tempt many users to make the switch to Jio networks. Instead of getting a new number, you can opt for mobile number portability (MNP) to shift to the Reliance Jio network without changing your phone number. In July last year, DoT made it compulsory for telecom operators to roll out nationwide MNP, allowing users to keep their phone number even if they switched carriers or locations. Because of nation-wide MNP, subscribers of Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, and other telcos can shift to Reliance Jio and avail the free Preview Offer till end of the year without changing their number.
Here's how you can use MNP to shift to Reliance Jio without changing your number:
First up, you need to send a text message to your current operator requesting for a port out. The message PORT should be sent to 1900. In return, you will receive a Unique Porting Code from 1901 with 15 days validity from your current carrier.
Head to any Reliance Mobile Store or retailer and fill up the Customer Application Form (CAF) where you'll also fill in the porting code. Submit the required documents (proof of address, proof of identity and photograph), and in return Reliance will issue a new Reliance Jio SIM card. Once activated, this SIM will use the same phone number you already had, and your old SIM will be deactivated.
The Reliance Jio SIM could take up to 7 days to activate, and a fee of Rs. 19 will be charged. During porting, your number might be dead for about two hours (sometime between 10pm and 5am) before the new Reliance Jio SIM gets activated. Once your current SIM starts showing "No Service", it's likely time to put in your new Reliance Jio SIM.
Once ported, the Jio SIM should be activated, and remember you cannot use MNP to go back to your earlier operator or someone else for at least 90 days. In his AGM speech, Ambani requested all the other operators to not limit customers' right to migrate to Jio using MNP.
He also blamed the telcos of creating a poor experience for Jio customers. He said that in the last week alone Jio customers faced 5 crore call failures to other networks because of insufficient interconnect capacity provided by competitors. Ambani claimed that the telcos were giving the impression to Jio customers that voice calling wasn't working, when actually the telco operators were deliberately dropping calls.