Reliance Jio has announced that its users will now have to pay six paise per minute to make voice calls to non-Jio mobile networks. This means that whenever you make a voice call to a user of Airtel, Vodafone Idea, BSNL, and others, you will have to pay six paise per minute for every call. It’s worth mentioning that Jio will not be charging for incoming calls from other networks or outgoing calls to landline phones.
In a statement yesterday, Mukesh Ambani-led telecom operator said that it was “compelled” to start charging for calls to users of other telcos. The company has also announced four additional top-up vouchers that provide additional minutes to those who want to make voice calls to users of other networks. These vouchers come in dominations of Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 50, and Rs 100. The Rs 10 Jio recharge provides 124 minutes of IUC minutes, while the Rs 20, Rs 50 and Rs 100 vouchers deliver 249 minutes, 656 minutes, and 1,362 minutes respectively. Notably, the company is offering 1GB of free data for every Rs 10 you spend on any of these top-up recharges.
The reason for Jio charging money for calls to other networks is due to the IUC (interconnect usage charge) that Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has set for telecom operators in the country. For those unaware, IUC is the amount a telco has to pay to another operator if a user makes an outgoing call to the latter’s customer. This charge is decided by the TRAI. Its worth mentioning that two year’s ago, the IUC was 14 paise per minute. Notably, the regulator has recently decided to bring this down to zero by January 2020.
It’s worth mentioning that calls from Jio to Jio users are still completely free as part of any of the recharge a user has. Jio also mentioned that it is not planning to increase the price of any of its current prepaid tariffs to include the IUC charges. Lastly, postpaid users of Jio will find charges for calls made to other networks automatically added to their bill.