Reliance Industries (RIL) Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani on Tuesday said Reliance Jio has crossed the 100 million customer mark since its launch on September 5.
"Jio was launched on September 5 last year. In only 170 days we have crossed the 100 million customer mark. This achievement is of India and Indians," Ambani told the media.
He said that on an average Jio added seven customers on its network every second.
"This is an unprecedented level of acceptance of any technology company anywhere in the world."
Ambani said that prior to the launch of Reliance Jio, India was ranked 150th in terms of data penetration. It was now at number one.
"Last month Jio users have consumed 100 crore gigabytes of data. India is number one today in terms of mobile data usage."
Ambani said by the end of 2017, 99 per cent of the country's population will be covered by the network with its presence in nearly all cities, towns and villages.
"In the coming months, we will more than double our data capacity and this means even better quality for our customers. By the end of 2017, the Jio network will be present in nearly all the cities, towns and villages of India, and cover 99 per cent of our country's population."
He pointed out that the company has doubled its 4G stations as compared to its competitors.
Announcing free user benefits for another 12 months under a cost-effective membership plan, Jio's latest offerings are expected to stiffen the competition further in the telecom sector.
Under the 'Jio Prime Membership Programme' for founder members, the existing 100 million plus Jio subscribers can avail unlimited benefits of 'Jio Happy New Offer' for another full year or till March 31, 2018 for a nominal, one-time enrolment fee of Rs 99 coupled with an introductory price of Rs 303 per month.
The 'Jio Prime Membership' is available only for existing customers and the enrolment window will remain open from March 1-31, 2017.
Apart from that, he said the company will start offering tariff plans starting April 1 for people who do not opt for the prime membership plan.
"Starting April 1, Jio will start offering its tariff plans. On all of Jio's tariff plans, all domestic voice calls to any network will always remain free. Across India, to any network, always. And no roaming charges, no blackout days, and no hidden charges," he added.
Ambani also vowed to match the tariff data plans of its competitors with 20 per cent more data.
"Jio is instituting a comprehensive process of monitoring all publicly announced plans from all operators across the country on a regular basis. And we will not only match the highest selling tariffs of each of the other leading Indian telecom operators but we will provide 20 per cent more data in each of these plans."
The telecom industry congratulated the company on the achievement and said the commencement of paid services on the network will bring to light "consumer choice and preference".
"We congratulate RJio for reaching the 100 million subscriber mark in a record period of six months and becoming the largest global data network," Rajan S. Mathews, Director General, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) was quoted as saying in a statement.
Besides, COAI welcomed the price points and tariff plans announced by the company.
"The industry is pleased to see the commencement of paid services as the market place will now become the place where consumer choice and preference will be revealed," Mathews said.
Further Mathews recommended the telecom regulator: "To play a pivotal role ensuring that both consumer interests and industry health are maintained by providing a transparent, fair and predictable regulatory environment which enables robust consumer choice, affordability and industry well-being while enabling the large amounts of investment that will be required to keep India in the forefront of the knowledge and digital revolution."
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