Jio users, we have some news for you. And this is an important one as you may soon be needing more than your standard Rs. 399 recharge to avail all of the company’s services. Reliance Jio today announced that it will start charging users 6 paise per minute for calls made to other telecom networks.
It’s pretty straightforward, the new rule. It means if you call someone using an Airtel or Vodafone SIM then you would be charged at a rate of 6 paise per minute. The new tariff won’t apply to Jio to Jio calls, all incoming calls, and Jio to landline calls. It also won’t be affecting your VoIP calls, i.e. WhatsApp or FaceTime calls.
Why is Jio Charging You Now?
Well, a lot of you may not be aware of the fact that telecom operators need to pay their rivals (or other telecom operators) a fixed sum of money when the former’s user places calls to the latter. This means Jio needs to pay money to Vodafone if you’re calling your friend who has a Vodafone number – i.e for an outgoing call to a rival telecom operator. This charge is called Interconnect Usage Charge (or IUC) and had been subsidized by Jio for its valuable customers.
Reliance Jio, in an official announcement, says that it had subsidized the IUC charge for users and has been paying it themselves (having paid more than 13,000 crores over the past two years), but is now abolishing this practice for one reason and that’s TRAI.
Back in 2017, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (better known as TRAI) decided to eliminate IUC charges, with effect from January 2020. Jio placed faith in the regulatory body and didn’t levy IUC charger on its customers to date. However, TRAI is looking to extend the termination, thus, Jio is looking to now recover some charges to pay out its competitors until IUC is permanently terminated in the coming months.
In its official blog post, the company says, “Jio again assures its 35 crore customers that the 6 paise per minute charge on outgoing off-net mobile calls shall continue only till the time TRAI abolishes IUC, in line with its present regulation.” TRAI has already fixed IUC charges at 6 paise a minute, so that’s exactly what the company is going to charge you going forward.
New Calling Plans Detailed
Now, that we have clarified the concept around IUC and how Jio is now going to charge users to offset the losses, well, let’s take a look at top-up vouchers it’s offering users. I have attached below the list of top-up plans, showing how many IUC minutes and data you’ll receive on recharging your Jio number –
|Top-up Voucher||IUC Minutes||Free Data|
Now, if you recharge your Jio number after 10th October, you will have to complete an additional top-up to add IUC calling minutes to your Jio account. It’s only when a Reliance Jio user completes this recharge will they able to make outgoing calls to other telecom operators other than Jio. You can save yourself from the top-up voucher in two ways – either call the user on their Jio number or use WhatsApp to call them.