Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio on Thursday clarified that all its customers who had recharged their plans till Wednesday would continue to enjoy free voice call benefits to any number till their existing plan expired.
"Dear customer, if you have recharged on or before 9th October, you can continue enjoying free call benefits (even to non-Jio numbers), until your plan expires," Reliance Jio said.
On Wednesday, Reliance Jio had announced that it would end free voice calls on its network to offload the pressure of interconnect usage charge (IUC) rates set by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The country's largest telecom operator said that its customers would have to pay 6 paise per minute for voice calls to other rival networks. Jio users, however, would be provided free data of similar value to offset the burden on them.
The telecom arm of Reliance Industries claimed that it had paid Rs 13,500 crore to other operators as IUC charges over the past three years. Since it did not charge its customers for voice calls, the company had to bear this entire expense.
Reliance Jio, which was launched in September 2016, became the nation's top telecom operator after free calls and cheap data lured millions of users and left rivals struggling under mounting debt. At the time of its launch, it had announced that all voice calls will be given for free along with affordable data rates.
Boosted by the development, Reliance Industries share price closed 2.76 per cent, or 36.65 points, higher at Rs 1,362 compared to the previous close of Rs 1,325 on Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea stocks also reacted positively to this news and rose in trade today. While Bharti Airtel share price rose 5.05 per cent to close at Rs 377.40, Vodafone Idea stock climbed 5.82 per cent to settle at Rs 6.18 on BSE.
Edited by Chitranjan Kumar