Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea stocks rose in trade today after Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio said it would charge its subscribers for voice calls made to rival networks. Now, Jio customers will have to pay interconnect usage charge (IUC) of 6 paise per minute for such calls. This is the first time ever Reliance Jio will charge subscribers for voice calls.
However, Jio has promised to provide free data of equal value to offset the burden on its consumers. The announcement was welcomed on the bourses with shares of competitors Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea rising in early trade.
While Bharti Airtel share price rose up to 7.13% to Rs 384.85, Vodafone Idea stock rose up to 17.63% to Rs 5.84 on BSE.
Meanwhile, Reliance Industries share too was trading in the green. The large cap stock rose up to 3.04% to Rs 1,366 on BSE.
"So, 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 January 1, 2020," Jio said in a statement on Wednesday.
The company claimed that it has 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. Jio post-paid connections will also have to pay the 6 paise per minute charge for outgoing calls.
The free data they are entitled to in one recharge cycle will be increased in lieu of the additional charges. The charges will not apply on outgoing calls to other Jio numbers, landline connections, or calls via WhatsApp, FaceTime or similar applications. Incoming calls to Jio will continue to be free of charge.
By Aseem Thapliyal