Pedestrians use smartphones near advertising for Reliance Jio Infocomm. (Photographer: Sanjit Das/Bloomberg)

Reliance Jio Offers More Data As Tariff War Continues

Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. will offer more data on its existing plans, effectively lowering tariffs the second time in a month as a pricing war continues in the world’s second-biggest telecom market.

The Mukesh Ambani-owned telecom operator will offer half-a-gigabyte more data on 1 GB-a-day and 1.5 GB-a-day plans starting Jan. 26, it said in a statement. Jio also increased the validity on a Rs 98 pack to 28 days from 14 days. The existing plans will now offer data at 25-33 percent cheaper rates.

Reliance Jio lowered prices after Bharti Airtel, India’s largest telecom operator, revised its tariffs earlier in the morning. It now offers more data on existing plans, reducing the cost per GB by 20-29 percent.

Still, Reliance Jio offers cheaper data in most of its plans. Only one Bharti Airtel plan is cheaper than that of India’s newest wireless carrier.

Reliance Jio has been lowering tariffs to protect its market share and not profitability, said a note released by Credit Suisse. Reliance Jio, however, managed to turn profitable in less than 15 months of operations.

Jio reported a standalone net profit of Rs 504 crore in the quarter ended December compared to a loss of Rs 271 crore in the previous three months. Revenue increased 12 percent sequentially to Rs 6,789 crore.

  • Operating profit rose 82 percent to Rs 2,628 crore.
  • Operating margin expanded nearly 15 percentage points to 38.2 percent.
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