Reliance Jio, Reliance Industries' Rs25,000-crore telecom start-up has notched up 16 million subscriber registrations in September, the month it was officially launched, creating a world record for subscriber additions in one month.
"Jio has achieved this growth faster than any other telecom operator or startup in the world including the likes of Facebook, WhatsApp and Skype," Reliance Jio Infocomm stated in a release.
Mukesh Ambani, chairman of RIL, launched Jio services commercially at RIL's 42nd annual general meeting (AGM), on 5 September, offering life-time free voice calls and data packs at prices 80 per cent lower than existing rates.
Ambani announced free voice calls and priced data at Rs50 per GB, 80 per cent lower than the current industry average of Rs250 per GB. Jio's Welcome Offer included free Jio services, including unlimited voice calls, messaging, video calls, high-speed data, as well as access to Jio's suite of apps till 31 December 2016.
Ambani also unveiled Jio price points starting from Rs19 for the occasional data user to a monthly plan Rs149, with the highest rate being Rs4,999 for heavy data users.
Ambani, while addressing the AGM had said, Jio would aim to acquire 100 million customers "in the shortest possible time and create a new world record".
"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," said Ambani in the statement. "We are delighted that people have recognised this and are utilising our services to the fullest. We are customer-obsessed and committed to improving every day to exceed expectations of our customers."
Jio, which has shaken up the telecom industry and triggered a tariff war, had 1.5 million users on its 4G network during the test phase.
Bharti Airtel, the country's top telco, had a subscriber base of 257.5 million at the end of August, while Vodafone had over 200 million subscribers and Idea about 177 million subscribers in August.
Jio also said it has introduced Aadhaar-based paperless Jio SIM activation across 3,100 cities and towns.
"This enables the customer to complete the SIM activation process in a matter of minutes, with only his/her Aadhaar number.This process will be extended across the country and fully stabilized for satisfactory on-boarding experience in the next few weeks," Jio said.