Reliance Jio has opened its doors to everyone, with Jio's 4G SIM cards now available at retail outlets across India. After a prolonged trial where only select users had access to the Jio network, starting Monday, the services will be free to use for all until December 31.
Reliance Jio has unveiled a bunch of prepaid and postpaid plans that will kick in post the 'welcome offer', and the country's newest telcos has made voice calling and national roaming free for everyone. Customers will need pay only for data on this 4G-only network, with cost per GB a fraction of what other operators are charging at the moment.
Here's everything you need to know about the Reliance Jio 4G network - from getting a SIM card, to the plans, phones that will work, MNP process, and more.
1. How to get a Reliance Jio SIM card
Reliance Jio SIM cards will be available to anyone from Monday, and the process of getting one is pretty simple, though it's likely there will be huge queues at stores with everyone trying to get their hands on a Jio SIM card, so plan accordingly. If you have an Aadhaar card, we recommend carrying that for the eKYC process as it greatly simplifies the activation process.
(Also see: How and Where to Get Reliance Jio SIM Card)
2. Reliance Jio plans
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard by now that Reliance Jio will not charge for voice calls and national roaming will be free as well. Monthly prepaid plans start at Rs. 149, and they include a certain amount of Wi-Fi data on the nationwide JioNet network and free access to Reliance Jio's apps and services until December 2017, a package that's said to be worth Rs. 15,000 per year according to Reliance's own estimates.
Reliance Jio has also unveiled a bunch of postpaid plans that are similar to its prepaid offerings.
3. Reliance Jio phones
Reliance Jio is using a 4G-only network with VoLTE technology for phone calls. This means your existing phone may not work on it, unless it comes with 4G support. Even if you have a 4G phone, unless it supports VoLTE, you will not be able to make voice calls, though Reliance Jio is offering its JioJoin app as a workaround. For the full Reliance Jio experience though, it's recommended you get a VoLTE phone. If you are not ready to switch phones, check out JioFi, explained later in this article.
4. Reliance Jio MNP
Starting Monday, you can also port your number to Reliance Jio if you want, though with a 90 day period where you can't switch operators after porting in and the Jio network still in trial, you may have trouble communicating with numbers of other networks. We recommend getting a Jio SIM as an additional number to test out the network, but if your mind is already made up, see our guide on how to switch to Reliance Jio using MNP.
5. Reliance Jio apps and services
Reliance Jio is pushing its apps and services in a big way, from the JioNet app that lets you use Jio's network of Wi-Fi hotspots, to its video-on-demand app, and a music streaming app, and more. Access to these services will be free until December 2017, and a certain amount of data for the Wi-Fi service will be included in all plans as mentioned earlier.
6. Reliance Jio plans fine print
While Reliance Jio's plans look great at first glance, and they are pretty disruptive for the most part, there's a certain amount of fine print you should know about. The welcome offer until December 31 was said to include "unlimited 4G data", but it's capped at 4GB per day. That's a pretty generous limit for most users - unless you were looking at Jio as replcement for your home/ office broadband connection - but a cap nonetheless.
There's also things like the "unlimited night data", which will come into effect once Reliance Jio starts charging for its service post December 31, being defined as usage between 2AM and 5AM, which is a definition of 'night' that may not align with everyone else's. Do check out other fine print we've highlighted earlier.
7. Reliance JioFi
If you are thinking about using Reliance Jio at home, or using it with your existing phone that doesn't support 4G, you should check out the JioFi. Simply put, it's a 4G device with a built-in Wi-Fi router and a battery, that can bring more than one device onto the Reliance Jio network. It's available at Rs. 1,999 and we have a simple guide that will help you get started.
Do you have any questions around Reliance Jio? Let us know via the comments and we will try to answer.