Mumbai: India’s largest telecom operator Reliance Jio on Thursday announced that all voice calls made from Jio to other networks in India will be free from January 1.
Jio has been charging 6p per minute for calls to other networks to recover Interconnect Usage Charges, which is ending after today. Jio already doesn’t charge for calls within its own network.
The company said in a statement, “Interconnect usage charge (IUC) regime is likely to end from 1 January 2021 from Jio’s other networks in India.”
Off-net domestic voice calls from Jio to any network, anywhere in the country, will be free from 1 January 2021. Currently, customers are being charged for off-net voice calls due to the IUC regime. Notably, on-net domestic voice calls have always been free on the Jio network.
For reference, in September 2019, when TRAI extended the deadline to implement the bill and funnel arrangement from January 1, 2020, onwards, Jio charged its customers for off-net voice calls at a rate equal to the applicable IUC charges started.
While doing so, Jio assured its users that this charge would continue until TRAI IUC eliminates the charges. The statement said that today Jio fulfilled that promise and made the off-net voice call free again.
Shares of Jio competitor Bharti Airtel fell 2% in intra-day trades on 31 December, as Jio announced its plans to free off-net calls from 1 January 2021.
Bharti Airtel scrip was last seen trading around Rs 508.95, down by Rs 7.70 or 1.5% at 1504 hours on the National Stock Exchange (NSE).
Vodafone Idea shares gained by 4.4% and were last seen trading at Rs 10.65 on the NSE around 1504 hours on Thursday.