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Jio staff gets pat on the back from RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani

Mukesh Ambani said Jio’s services had led to a ‘gigantic spurt in data consumption’ and lauded the staff for their work on network, infrastructure, technology and customer service.

, ET Bureau|
Sep 07, 2017, 12.08 AM IST
MUMBAI: Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries (RIL), said that group telecom arm, Reliance Jio, had disrupted the market with its customer friendly tariff plans, helping it garner over 130 million users in a year from its launch, which will soon have a “positive impact” on India’s economy.

In a letter to employees of the new telco dated Sept. 5, Ambani said Jio’s services had led to a ‘gigantic spurt in data consumption’ and lauded the staff for their work on network, infrastructure, technology and customer service.

“Your efforts will make Digital India a reality, and its positive impact on India’s economic growth is the next logical development that we are beginning to witness,” Ambani said.

Jio, which employs over 30,000 direct staff, had started commercial services offering 4G technology on Sept. 5, 2016, and disrupted the market with its free offers till March end, and much-lower than market data rates from April 1. Voice is free for life for Jio users.

“In this past one year, we have broken several records, both in India and globally. But what gives me the biggest personal satisfaction is to have broken the myth that India is not ready to adopt advanced technology,” Ambani said in the letter, a copy of which is with ET.

Jio had netted 100 million users in 170 days of launch, which the mobile phone operator said was the fastest in the world.

“The way the country has embraced 4G technology and the way it is being used is already a case study for quantum technology leaps,” he added.

Post Jio, data consumption in India has shot from 20 crore GB a month to more than 150 crore GB a month, which according to reports could be the highest in the world. The consumer is paying 25-30% less on his monthly bills as incumbent telcos have slashed voice and data rates to prevent users from porting to Jio, thus putting pressure on revenue and profitability.

The severe price wars forced a wave of consolidation in the industry with merger announcements between Idea Cellular and Vodafone India; Rcom, Aircel and MTS and Bharti Airtel buying Telenor India.

The new operator’s sister company Reliance Retail last month launched its 4G VoLTE feature phone – JioPhone – for effectively free, which is set to unleash another wave of disruption in the handset and the telecom services market. Through JioPhone – which is SIM-locked with the new operator - Jio plans to target the 500 million feature phone users, who currently form a bulk of voice users of India’s top telcos Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular.

JioPhone within the first 24 hours since its launch in July received more than 6 million bookings forcing the retail arm of the group to close the booking window to prevent a lag between the order numbers and target of making available five million of the devices each week.
“…I am counting on each and every one of you to create more records…,” Ambani said.

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