Now, Reliance Jio to charge users 6 paise per minute for voice calls to other networks
New Delhi, Oct 09: Reliance Jio will now charge customers 6 paise per minute for voice calls made to Airtel or Vodafone-Idea number, but will compensate them by giving free data of equal value.
"For all recharges done by Jio customers starting today, calls made to other mobile operators will be charged at the prevailing IUC rate of 6 paise per minute through IUC top-up vouchers till such time that TRAI moves to Zero termination charge regime. Presently, this date is 1st January 2020," Jio said in a release.
"Jio will provide additional data entitlement of equivalent value based on IUC top-up voucher consumption. This will ensure no increase in tariff for customers," the company said.
Jio said it has, in last three years, paid other operators like Airtel and Vodafone-Idea nearly Rs 13,500 crore as net IUC charges.
These charges are not applicable on calls made by Jio users to other Jio phones and to landline phones and calls made using WhatsApp, FaceTime and other such platforms. Incoming calls from all networks will continue to be free.
Telecom regulator TRAI in 2017 had slashed the so-called interconnect usage charge (IUC) to 6 paise per minute from 14 paise and had said this regime will end by January 2020. But it has now floated a consultation paper to review whether the regime timeline needs to be extended.
Since voice calls on Jio network are free, the company had to bear the Rs 13,500 crore payment made to rivals such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea. To recover the losses created by the TRAI move, the company has decided to charge customers 6 paise per minute for every call they make to a rival's network.
This will be the first time that Jio users will pay for voice calls. Currently, Jio charges only for data, and voice calls to anywhere in the country and to any network are free.