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Jio to Offer Free Voice Calls to Other Networks Again, Starting January 1

Reliance Jio on Thursday introduced that it might as soon as once more make off-net home voice calls free on its community beginning January 1, 2021. The operator will restart its earlier apply over a yr after it began charging its subscribers 6 paise a minute to make voice calls to different cell networks. The recent determination got here because of the ‘Invoice and Preserve’ regime that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is implementing within the nation from January 1 that can finish interconnect utilization costs (IUC) for all home voice calls.

With the replace, subscribers on Jio will be capable to make free voice calls to any cell community within the nation — identical to different telcos. That is prone to make the competitors more durable for different telcos together with Airtel and Vi (previously Vodafone Idea) as Jio will be capable to provide extra aggressive recharge plans. Different operators can even not get any costs from Jio for terminating voice calls from its community.

In September 2019, the TRAI prolonged the timeline for implementing the Invoice and Preserve regime past January 1, 2020. That extension resulted within the arrival of the six-paise outgoing call charge on Jio for different cell networks in October final yr.

Jio at the moment claimed that attributable to bearing IUC, which operators wanted to pay for enabling off-net voice calls on their networks, it had paid practically Rs. 13,500 crores to different operators within the final three years. It had additionally talked about after the interconnect costs got here into place in 2017, different telcos continued to cost “exorbitant tariffs” and elevated their tariffs for voice calls to round Rs. 1.50 per minute.

Nonetheless, in contrast to Jio, different operators favoured IUC because it emerged as one in every of their major sources of earnings. A lot of Jio customers additionally criticised the telco’s transfer to begin charging for voice calls. It tried to place some criticism to relaxation by launching dedicated IUC vouchers following the announcement of off-net voice name costs on its community final yr.

It is very important level out that whereas Jio began charging customers for making voice calls to different networks, it continued to supply free Jio-to-Jio voice calls — because of VoIP help on its community.

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