Reliance Jio Likely to Hike its Data Tariff in 2018, says Report
New Delhi, December 12: Come 2018 and Reliance Jio users may have to face disappointment as the telco is likely to increase its data plan tariffs. Yes! You read it right. After offering bundled 4G data to its customers for over a year now, reports state that the new telco is all set to end its freebies. Jio offered the lowest-ever tariffs in the country and lured user with its disruptive offers ever since it made its entry in the telecom sector in September 2016. According to a London-based OpenSignal, which specialises in crowdsourced wireless coverage mapping all over the world in its report said that 2018 will see India gradually move away from being a developing 4G country, overcoming the hiccups necessary to become a full-grown 4G power.
The entry of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio in the telecom sector created a tough competition for rival telcos and forced them to slash their tariff rates to retain customers. The reports further added that Jio’s market entry kicked off an intense price war in the telecom scene in India, resulting in offerings of cheaper LTE services from all operators, driving more consumers to 4G than ever before. “The trend will continue next year. Whether Jio remains the huge dominant driver in 4G growth remains to be seen. After a year of free and steeply discounted data pricing, Jio may make 2018 the year it raises prices. That could level the playing field for India’s operators,” said Andrea Toth from OpenSignal.
According to Crisil’s predictions, India’s current mobile data subscriber penetration stands at 40 percent which is expected to double to 80 percent by 2022. LTE services have taken the leading role in the unprecedented increase of data users in the past year and majority of the credit goes to Jio. Reports said that as 4G adoption rose, more and more consumers subscribed to 4G services due to which the networks experienced congestion, resulting in a decrease in average download speeds across the board.
The OpenSignal report further said that LTE availability in India is remarkable as users were able to connect to an LTE signal over 84 percent of the time. This is a rise of over 10 percentage points from a year earlier. Barely six months in the market this year, Jio secured its lead in the 4G availability race, “with users able to access its LTE signals 91.6 percent of the time,” according to an earlier OpenSignal national report published in April. No other mobile operator managed to score higher than 60 percent in these tests.