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Reliance Jio withdraws ‘Summer Surprise’ offer on TRAI’s advice

MUMBAI: Mukesh Ambani-owned telco Reliance Jio has withdrawn its Summer Surprise offer following a nudge by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

Jio, which has amassed 72 million paid subscribers, had launched Jio Summer Surprise offer under which all Prime members making their first recharge payment of Rs 303 (or higher) got three months’ complimentary services in addition to the benefits of their purchased plan.

However, all customers who have subscribed to the offer prior to its discontinuation will remain eligible for the offer, the company clarified.

The TRAI decision to ask Jio to suspend its latest offer comes amidst growing concern among telecom players that the freebies are taking a heavy toll on their revenues. Most telcos have taken a huge hit on their top line and bottom line due to Jio.

The launch of Jio has also triggered mergers and acquisitions in the telecom market with Vodafone–Idea and RCOM–Aircel merging to protect their businesses from being eaten up by the new player.

“Today, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has advised Jio to withdraw the three months’ complimentary benefits of Jio Summer Surprise,” Reliance Jio said in a statement.

“Jio accepts this decision. Jio is in the process of fully complying with the regulator’s advice, and will be withdrawing the three months’ complimentary benefits of Jio Summer Surprise as soon as operationally feasible, over the next few days,” it added.

Launched in September 2016, Jio was offering free voice calls besides 1GB of 4G data free to all its Prime customers. From 1 April, the telco started charging Rs 303 per month from Prime customers. The Prime customers will also have to pay a one-time fee of Rs 99.

Jio’s prepaid plan ranges from Rs 19 for one day to Rs 9999 for a year. It has three postpaid plans priced Rs 303, Rs 499 and Rs 999. The first and second plans offer 1GB and 2GB per day respectively, while the Rs 999 plan offers unlimited data. However, only 60GB data can be consumed at 4G speed.