Reliance Jio has started charging subscribers six paise a minute for making calls to other mobile networks. The Mumbai-headquartered telco on Wednesday claimed that the new voice charge would be at the prevailing Interconnect Usage Charge (IUC) rate that has been fixed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for mobile operators enabling inter-networking outgoing calls -- also known as off-net voice calls. As a result of the new change, Jio subscribers are required to purchase an additional IUC top-up voucher to make voice calls to other networks. Four new IUC top-up vouchers have been initially provided to suit the diverse requirements of the subscribers.
According to the official announcement, Reliance Jio subscribers will be charged at six paise per minute through the IUC top-up vouchers for all the outgoing calls made to other mobile networks starting today. This means that irrespective of what recharge plan you have, you'll be required to purchase a separate IUC top-up voucher to make voice calls to other networks.
To make things pleasing to some extent, Jio is providing additional data entitlement of equivalent value based on IUC top-up voucher consumption. The data entitlement comes in addition to equivalent minutes with the IUC charged at six paise per minute.
|IUC Top-Up Voucher Amount (Rs.)||IUC Minutes (non-Jio networks)||Free Data Entitlement (GB)|
The first and the most affordable IUC top-up voucher offered by Reliance Jio comes at Rs. 10 that brings 124 minutes of voice calling to other mobile networks in addition to 1GB of data entitlement. If a subscriber requires more minutes than what's available through the Rs. 10 IUC top-up voucher, there is the Rs. 20 voucher with 249 minutes. It also includes 2GB of data entitlement.
Reliance Jio has also offered the Rs. 50 IUC top-up voucher that includes 656 minutes of talk time for other mobile networks along with 5GB of data. For extensive outgoing calling support to other mobile networks, there is also the Rs. 100 voucher that brings 1,362 minutes of talk time in addition to 10GB of data.
The IUC top-up vouchers don't include any separate validity. Also, there are no changes to the existing Jio plans.
Similar to the prepaid Jio subscribers, postpaid customers will also be billed at six paise per minute for making off-net outgoing calls. Reliance Jio will offer free data entitlement of equivalent value to compensate the customers to some extent.
The new development sparked outrage among the subscribers as Reliance Jio initially promised to offer voice calling free on its network and charge subscribers only for mobile data. However, the operator still assures that it will cost off-net outgoing calls until the time TRAI moves to a zero termination charge regime that is expected to take place starting January 1, 2020.
Notably, the six paise per minute charge applies only to the voice calls being made to other mobile networks. This means that all Jio-to-Jio calls and Jio-to-landline calls are still free. Similarly, the operator is not charging for incoming calls and calls made using a Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) platform such as WhatsApp or Apple's FaceTime.