Decision on Jio's free internet service soon

"Jio's faster data speed appears to be a bigger attraction than tariffs".

Only 18% surveyed customers said that they will use as primary one when Jio's free offer ends, and amongst these, 57% said that they will go for Jio's 400-500 package' rather than the cheapest one, the survey said.

Around 24% of the respondents said that they have never tried Jio and 27% said that they are satisfied with their current operator.

The brokerage's findings indicated that the 4G entrant would be able to retain majority of customers.

The brokerage's September survey demonstrated a high willingness among consumers to try out the Jio SIM.

However, there is a bit of concern here as well: Most of the customers (67%) will use Jio as the secondary operator.

Jio, in a meeting with TRAI, had reportedly said that the latest offer was different from the previous offer as, in the former, the company provided 4GB of free data per day, but in the latter case, it restricted the free internet up to 1GB under Fair Usage Policy. Over one-third agreed that speeds were faster but were inconsistent.

The next hearing is on February 1, and incumbents hope that TRAI will bring an end to Jio's free services to normalise falling data revenue realisation. This clearly means that majority of the Jio users are willing to use it post-free period, but are still uncertain on making it as the default telecom carrier. Massive 41% of customers from the bunch of smaller telcos are interested in Jio services in the coming days. The survey found that Airtel has the most satisfied customers, as 97.7% are fully satisfied with their services.

In its 25-page petition before the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), Airtel had asked the quasi-judicial body to direct Trai to ensure Jio does not provide its free voice and data plan beyond December 3. "For non 4G consumers -mainly featurephone- the low denomination separate voice and data tariffs will remain", it added.

- While customer satisfaction is high for incumbents, 28 per cent users still find their services expensive.

The brokerage said that Bharti Airtel is trying to create a perception through "marketing gimmicks/new packages that its tariffs are at par/cheaper than Jio".

Sources told HT that if Jio, which has deep pockets as it is backed by Reliance Industries, continues to offer free services, there will be a price war in the telecom industry, eroding profits.

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