Almost a year after making it available to employees and Lyf smartphone users, Mukesh Ambani's ambitious Reliance Jio telecom network was made available to everyone from September 5 this year. Now, the company has announced that its subscriber base crossed 16 million customers in just 26 days. The company claims this is a world record, and that it "achieved this growth faster than any other telecom operator or startup in the world, including the likes of Facebook, WhatsApp, and Skype".
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"We are delighted and humbled by the overwhelming response across India to the Jio Welcome Offer. Jio is built to empower every Indian with the power of data. We are delighted that people have recognized this and are utilising our services to the fullest. We are customer-obsessed and committed to improve every day to exceed expectations of our customers,"Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani said in a statement.
Most of the credit for this huge milestone goes to the company's appealing Jio Welcome Offer and cheap tariff rates. In this offer, Reliance Jio is giving all its new customers free data and voice calling till December 31 this year. This free and unlimited use of 4G Internet and voice calling was the company's big USP, and it resulted in huge lines outside Reliance stores on the day of launch.
Reliance Jio also holds the most spectrum in the country, and is the only operator to not have invested at all in 2G and 3G spectrum. It first announced its existence in 2010, and took six years to build the infrastructure required for a nation-wide commercial launch. In December last year, it first rolled out the services to its employees, and then later even launched its own Lyf branded smartphones, which came bundled with Reliance Jio's free voice and data preview offer for three months.
A Reliance Jio SIM can now be brought from all leading Reliance Digital stores. To ease the process, the company says it has installed eKYC machines in more than 3,100 towns. These machines are said to enable customers to get a card in minutes just by using your Aadhar card.
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With the launch of the iPhone 7 in India last week, the company has partnered with Apple to introduce offers to its iPhone customers. Users who buy the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone SE from a Reliance retail store or Apple authorised store will get a year of complimentary Jio service worth Rs. 18,000 for retail customers and a 25 percent discount for enterprise customers.
This one year complimentary service includes unlimited local, STD and national roaming voice calls, 20GB of 4G data, unlimited 4G data usage at night, 40GB of Wi-Fi data at Jio hotspots, unlimited SMS, and subscription to Jio's apps. Reliance pegs the value of all this at Rs. 18,000.