Yes, you read it right, after a free run with offers and cut-throat data tariff, Reliance Jio, the young blood in the Indian Telecom sector is going to charge you for outgoing voice calls to other operators. This means every outgoing voice calls from your Jio connection to other telecom operators like Airtel, Vodafone Idea, BSNL, MTNL etc would be charged. And, it will be six paise per minute and starts on 10th October 2019.
“Due to the undergoing regulatory policy changes for mobile-call-related charges, Jio is compelled to recover IUC charge for NON-JIO mobile voice calls,” said Jio is a press statement.
IUC or Interconnect Usage Charge is a cost paid by one telecom operator to another when its subscriber makes outgoing voice calls to the other operator’s customers. The appellate authority in the Indian telecom sector, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is one who currently fixes the IUC charges and is currently at 6 paise per minute.
IUC top-up voucher
By charging for outgoing mobile voice calls to other telecom networks, Jio customers now would end up paying more than their usual monthly/quarterly/ yearly recharges. Next time when you recharge for a Jio plan, you will have the option to choose a suitable IUC Top-up vouchers, that can free up some minutes of your no-Jio voice calls.
Jio has currently announced four IUC top-up vouchers starting at Rs 10. The Rs 10 IUC top-up voucher would allow you to make 124 IUC minutes of free outgoing voice calls to non-jio mobile number or other telecom operators number. The Rs 20 IUC top-up voucher comes with 249 IUC minutes of non-Jio voice calls and Rs 50 IUC top-up voucher packing 656 IUC minutes of non-jio voice calls. Finally, if you spent much time in calling a non-jio mobile number then Rs 100 IUC top-up voucher would add 1,362 IUC minutes.
Any calls to non-jio numbers or other telcos numbers then you would end up paying 6 paise per minute. A plus point however here is the additional data entitlement of equivalent value based on your IUC top-up voucher recharge. Thus Rs 10 IUC top-up voucher would also add 1GB free data to your exiting Jio Plan. The Rs 20 IUC top-up voucher adds 2GB of data, Rs 50 IUC top-up voucher gives 5GB of data and Rs 100 IUC top-up voucher add 10GB of extra data to your existing Jio plans.
|IUC Top-Up Voucher (Rs)||IUC Minutes (non-Jio mobiles)||Free Data Entitlement (GB)|
|Rs 10||124 minutes||1GB|
|Rs 20||249 minutes||2GB|
|Rs 50||656 minutes||5GB|
|Rs 100||1,362 minutes||10 GB|
The above IUC top-up voucher is for Jio’s prepaid mobile customers. For Jio’s postpaid mobile customers, your call to non-Jio mobile numbers will be charged at six paise per minutes. But, you would get the free data credit, added to your account based on the IUC top-up vouchers above.
Do take note that, this 6 paise per minute IUC charge is only for no-Jio mobile voice calls or calls you make from your Jio connection to another telecom operators number. There will be zero charges on all Jio to Jio mobile voice calls, Jio to landline calls, all incoming calls to your Jio connection and calls make using messaging apps like WhatsApp, Skype etc.
Why Jio charging for free calls now?
Reliance Jio says it been compelled to recover the regulatory charge of 6 paise per minute for all off-net mobile voice calls so long as IUC charges exist.
Jio is seeing traffic asymmetry on off-net voice calls from other operators, as they’re keeping their 2G voice tariffs high. By keeping high tariffs on 2G networks, 2G customers of other operators like Airtel and Vodafone-Idea give missed calls to Jio customers. This, in turn, results in converting incoming calls from other telcos to Jio into outgoing calls from Jio to other operators. Thus Jio ends up paying massive IUC charges to the other operators.
“We are hopeful that the IUC charge will be done away with as per the current regulation and that this temporary charge will come to an end by 31st December 2019“, said Jio is a press statement.
Jio guarantees that it will remove the IUC charges by 31st December 2019 or starting January 1st, 2020, when TRAI’s original commitment of zero IUC regime comes into effect.
With agitation mounting up among Jio customers after the telco started charging for making voice calls to other telecom operator mobile numbers, it has come up with a limited-period offer.
What’s the offer? You will get free talk time of 30 minutes (without getting charged while calling other operators number) the first time you recharge for a Jio Plan. This limited period offer will be available only for the first seven days from the date the plan was announced.
What’s other telecom operators say?
Airtel and Vodafone Idea in their recent statement announced that they won’t be charging their customers for voice calls to other operators. Their subscribers won’t need to pay the 6 paise per minute IUC charges.
For some, unlimited means something else. For us, unlimited voice calls have always meant truly unlimited voice calls. Switch to Airtel now. https://t.co/Xd7kpsF8ky#AbTohSahiChuno pic.twitter.com/eiiKGzmqs9
— airtel India (@airtelindia) October 10, 2019