India’s biggest telco, Reliance Jio, has launched its own Wi-Fi calling service in India, allowing customers to make free calls over Wi-Fi networks.
Jio had previously offered its customers free voice calls over its cellular network but ended this in December 2019, when it opted to pass on the Inter Connect Usage charge of INR 0.06 per minute, levied by the country’s regulator, on to its customers. The move angered subscribers in India as it effectively ended 3 years of free voice calls on Jio.
With the enabling of voice over Wi-Fi services, Jio will once again offer its customers a significant free to use voice call offering.
With 330 million subscribers, Jio has recently overhauled Vodafone Idea as the country’s biggest telco.
Last month, Bharti Airtel launched its Airtel Wi-Fi service in 14 districts and urban centres across India. In contrast, Reliance Jio’s offering will be available right across the country from the 16th January 2020, giving it a huge edge over its competitor in terms of nationwide coverage.
A recent study suggested that traditional voice based revenues would decrease by as much as 45% by 2024. This would mean that operators will need to offer their customers a viable, cost effective alternative to standard cellular voice calling in order to avoid losing subscribers to a raft of OTT players.
“The research forecasts that operator voice revenue will decline by 45% by 2024, in the face of an increase of 88% in the total number of third-party OTT mVoIP users over the next five years. The study urges operators to invest in AI-enabled communications platforms that facilitate competitive voice service delivery,” a spokesperson for the study’s commissioners, Juniper Research, said.