Jio is enjoying its time under the sun. Its offer for free voice calls, free messages and free data has been lapped up by consumers. This has let it amass over 52 million consumers in just 3 months and is on track to cover a 100 million consumers by March. Its offers have caused a lot of heartburn and panic in the Indian Telecom market with competitors forced to recaliberate its strategies and business models. Many people believe there will be just 3 – 4 major telecom players in the long run. Aircel is already up for sale, Telenor is in talks to sell its licenses to the highest bidder and surprisingly Vodafone is also looking to merge with or sell its business entirely to another major telecom player.
The excitement Jio has created in the market for consumers is a major cause for consternation in the Indian Telecom Market. Sunil Mittal, founder and chief of Bharati Airtel Limited has said that when anything is given for free or at a less price, it is next to impossible to compete with it.
Airtel had filed a petition against JIO, asking the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) to make Jio stop the free offers that it was offering. They said Jio should not be allowed to give these offers beyond the 3rd of December. They had earlier approached the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) with the hope of stopping Jio from getting this offer out. TRAI had refused to do so then.
Mr. Mittal was speaking with the media at the launch of Airtel Payments Bank, that has been launched by tying up with Kotak Mahindra Bank.