Reliance Jio May Soon Give Users Mobile Numbers Starting With ‘6’

Reliance Jio May Soon Give Users Mobile Numbers Starting With '6'

Reliance Jio
The latest entrant in the telecom industry, Reliance Jio has reportedly received permission to assign new users mobile numbers starting with the numeral ‘6’. The Department of Telecom (DoT) has given its nod towards operators issuing 6-series MSC (mobile switching code) codes for phone numbers, with Reliance Jio being the only one given this permission so far. However, Reliance Jio will give users mobile numbers starting with ‘6’ in some circles at present, not all.Telecom Talk reports that the DoT has issued 6-series MSC codes in Assam, Rajasthan, and Tamil Nadu. Reliance Jio reportedly got 60010-60019 MSC codes in Rajasthan, 60020-60029 MSC codes in Assam and 60030-60039 in Tamil Nadu. In Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, it received 7-series MSC codes, and in Kolkata and Maharashtra, it received 8-series MSC codes.

Jio 3 Reliance-Jio-Mobile-Numbers

This means that Reliance Jio will effectively be able to offer new mobile numbers starting with ‘6’ moving forward in the above mentioned states. The report states that this is done to meet the demand of more one million new subscribers. “In consideration to the request of service providers, the undersigned is directed to convey approval of competent authority Sr DDG (AS) for allotment of MSC Codes,” the department said.

In the Indian telecom industry, operators have so far been allotted mobile numbers in 9, 8, and 7 series. Reliance Jio’s entry, along with its free data and voice offers, gave birth to a large number of subscribers increasing demand by many folds. Mobile numbers that start with 9, 8, and 7 series are reportedly set to be exhausted soon. According to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s recent data, Indian subscriber base grew by 21.02 million to cross 1.12 billion in November 2016. Most of the credit for this goes to Reliance Jio.

Reliance Jio reached 72.4 million subscribers as of December 31 since its commencement of operations on September 5. To recall, Reliance Jio had crossed the 50-million subscriber milestone in just 83 days since launch back – adding an average of 600,000 subscribers a day.

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Reliance Jio Tariff Plans Comply With Regulations, Says TRAI

Reliance Jio Tariff Plans Comply With Regulations, Says TRAI

Reliance Jio got a boost on Thursday after telecom regulator TRAI said that the Jio tariff plans comply with its regulations and the current regime of tariff orders. This comes after Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellularmoved telecom tribunal TDSAT against TRAI for allowing Reliance Jio to extend its promotional free services Welcome Offer, which expired on December 31 2016, to March 31 2017 in the form of the new Happy New Year Offer.TRAI is expected to communicate the statement  of Reliance Jio plans complying with existing regulations to Airtel and Idea. The two had contended that Jio’s free services should not be allowed to extend after the 90 day period. Jio’s free calls, data and other services have led to a tariff war in the telecom sector, and rivals Vodafone and Idea are in talks for a merger.

“TRAI has examined the tariffs and has found that the [Reliance Jio] tariffs are in compliance with regulations and existing tariff orders,” sources said.

The decision comes just days after the Attorney General communicated to TRAI that Reliance Jio tariff plans do not violate any existing regulation or order issued by the regulator, and therefore it should not intervene in the matter.

TRAI had asked for the Attorney General for views on Jio’s free voice and data offering till March 2017, that rivals have termed “predatory.”

Sources said during the hearing at TDSAT on Wednesday, TRAI counsel submitted that the regulator has already taken a decision on the issue, after which TDSAT directed TRAI to file its decision. The next date of hearing on the matter is February 6.

On December 20, 2016, TRAI had asked Reliance Jio to clarify as to “why the offer of free data under the promotional offer should not be treated as predatory” and also explain why its tariffs were not in violation of existing regulatory guidelines.

In its response, Jio had stated that its latest Happy New Year offer is substantially different from the Jio Welcome Offer – which commenced on September 5 – as in the initial offer, it had provided 4GB of free data per day, while in the new one, the same was capped at 1GB under Fair Usage Policy.

Also, Reliance Jio contended that in the first, there was no option of renewal or payment after the 4GB limit was exhausted, but in the fresh offering, one can recharge both data and the promised speed.

In terms of market dominance, Reliance Jio said it accounts for 6 percent market share in the country whereas the Competition Commission of India (CCI) norms specify 30 percent threshold to trigger the misuse of market dominance clause.

“The two tariff plans are not the same, in terms of data on offer and other aspects,” TRAI sources said.