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Reliance Announces Jio Launch, Prices

Mukesh Ambani has set media and communications on a new course in India after unveiling disruptive pricing plans and a September 5 launch for Reliance Jio – his US$22 billion bet on broadband transformation.

Data use will be free for the rest of the year, allowing ordinary internet users in India – typically constrained by access costs – to explore and familiarize themselves with multiple internet services via 4G networks.

These include Jio’s own suite of branded apps, among them an impressive collection of linear and on-demand TV offerings.

Multiple data plans come into effect in January, with the entry-level offering at Rs149 (US$2.2) per month for 300MB. More expensive plans also include WiFi allowances, bringing down average data costs.

Domestic voice calls and most SMS messaging meanwhile will be free, effectively hastening the end of these declining revenue streams for rival telcos, while releasing consumer spending power into the wider marketplace.

Formal launch also inaugurates a fresh test for Jio’s network, as more people start streaming data.

The service currently has around 4 million users, after a soft launch earlier this year.

The full press release, with a powerpoint presentation, can be downloaded here.