Jiophone users to get 300 minutes of free outgoing voice calls per month for the pandemic period

After a disappointing performance in the January-March 2021 quarter and loss of its competitive edge over other telcos, Reliance Jio Infocom has started wooing customers with free voice calls and `buy-one-get-one’plans bundled with its Jiophone offers.

Reliance Jio said it is working with Reliance Foundation, under which it has announced a special initiative to provide 300 free minutes of outgoing calls per month (10 minutes per day) for the entire period of the pandemic, to JioPhone users who have not been able to recharge due to the ongoing pandemic.
Additionally, to further enhance affordability, for every JioPhone plan recharged by JioPhone user, they will get an additional recharge plan of the same value for free. For example, a JioPhone user recharging with Rs75 plan, will get an additional Rs75 plan absolutely free.
This offer, however, is not applicable on annual or JioPhone device bundled plans, the company said.
Meanwhile, Reliance Jio, which became number one in the world’s most competitive telecom market  in a short span of time, is reported to be in a bit of a tight spot now.
Reliance Jio’s subscriber growth has slowed after adding over 100 million users year after year. Its subscriber base is now almost static, mainly because of its feature phone, which is no match for any other mobile phone.
With smartphone subscribers, it is facing peak market share. With feature phone ones, it is facing rock-bottom ARPUs.
Its strategy rests on its JioPhones, which are getting delayed for reasons beyond its control.
Arch rival Bharti Airtel, on the other hand, had a strong showing over the last few quarters and has managed to add more subscribers in the second half of 2020 compared to Jio. Airtel also has a much higher active subscriber rate at 97 per cent, while Jio’s active subscriber rate is just 79 per cent.
Airtel subscribers spend more than Jio’s, which has actually seen its average revenue per user (ARPU) register a significant decline in the previous quarter.
Airtel’s ARPU has increased by over 17 per cent in the financial year 2020-21, according to a report by Motilal Oswal dated 27 April. In comparison, Jio’s ARPU fell by over 8 per cent in the previous quarter alone.
The gap between Airtel and Jio’s ARPUs has widened from Rs5 at the beginning of the previous financial year to Rs20 at the end of it.