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Will Reliance Jio be Gamechanger in 2017?

Reliance Jio, remained the most searched keyword by mobile users, way ahead of cricketer Virat Kohli and bollywood star Salman Khan, according to 2016 mobile trends by Alibaba group firm UC News.

"Reliance Jio is the ‘Hottest Keyword’ of 2016 with 116 million page views in both Hindi and English content," UC News report said.

When Reliance Jio launched its free 3-month period welcome offer in September last year, several eye-brows were raised and so are rumours and complaints. In November, a fake news was making round on Whatsapp claiming that a Reliance jio bill for Rs.27,000 was sent to one Mondal in Kolkata.

Come New Year 2017, Reliance Jio extended the free offer for three more months silencing not only the rivals but also sending the regulator TRAI into probing the offer anew again.

For the last one decade, Indian telecom industry is beset with fraud and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) remained lukewarm in its response to individual complaints, often acting as a postoffice to forward such complaints to telecom service providers. Hardly any telecom provider was brought under radar.

When Reliance Jio, owned by the richest man in the country who is ready to gamble his riches with free offers, all telecom providers are scurrying for cover, including the major player Airtel, which began to offer freebies to new customers risking loosing the old ones.

Reliance Jio in its Welcome Offer gave away unlimited free 4G Internet to users, with a data cap of 4GB per day besides unlimited voice calling (over VoLTE) throughout the country along with free national roaming. Airtel and Vodafone, which survived on huge collections in roaming fees, despite TRAI’s promise to do away with the charge sooner that had never come into effect.

When Reliance Jio extended the Welcome offer to March 2017, riding on back of 50 million customers already hooked on to its service but with a cap of 1 GB per day, no doubt the 4G Internet speeds have taken a serious hit, but still anything that is free cannot be complained about.

The latest TRAI report says the average download speed on Jio network reached 18.16 megabits per second (Mbps) in December 2016 which was its highest since. The monthly average mobile data speed published by TRAI showed that the download speed on Reliance Jio Network was 5.85Mbps in November compared to 7.26Mbps in September.

Other telecom providers showed lesser speed though. Vodafone network’s download speed increased to 6.7Mbps in December from 4.9Mbps in November, Idea network showed average download speed of 5.03Mbps, Bharti Airtel’s 4.68Mbps, BSNL’s 3.42Mbps, Aircel’s 3Mbps and Reliance Communications’ 2.6Mbps in December.

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