Reliance Jio to charge users for voice calls for the first time: Key things you need to know

Reliance Jio will now start charging users 6 paise per minute for outgoing calls to other telcos. Here’s what you need to know.

Reliance Jio just announced it will start charging users 6 paise per minute for calls made to other telecom operators. Jio which launched in 2015 has been offering unlimited free voice calls to its users.

This will be the first time Jio charges users for voice calls to other telcos. Jio's latest move comes from new developments for interconnect charges by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The proposed plans to drop interconnect usage charges to zero from January 1, 2020 now remains uncertain as TRAI will now review if it has to be extended further.

Here are key things you need to know about IUC on Jio.

Each telco has to pay a certain fee for calls made to other telcos. In 2017, TRAI issued changes to IUC by reducing the charge from 14 paise to 6 paise per minute from October 2017 till December 31, 2019. TRAI also said IUC will be zero with effect from January 1, 2020. TRAI has now floated a new consultation paper to review the proposed timeline and may extend it further.

Jio says it has bore the interconnect charges so far by paying a total of Rs 13,500 crore. With the new possibility of TRAI extending IUC, the telco says it has been compelled to move the charges to consumers. However the telco wants to compensate users through additional talk-time and free data.

Jio has introduced IUC recharge cards with additional talk-time and free data to compensate the 6 paise charge. IUC top-up voucher cards start at Rs 10 offering 124 IUC minutes and 1GB of free data. Post-paid users will also be charged 6 paise per minute for outgoing calls but will be compensated with free data.

Only outgoing calls will be charged 6 paise per minute. These calls still remain free for Jio users - Jio to Jio, incoming calls, Jio to landline, and WhatsApp, FaceTime calls. Also, there will be no changes to current data plans for Jio users.



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