On September 5, the Reliance Jio Welcome Offer opened to all. Reliance CMD Mukesh Ambani at the company’s 42nd general meeting had announced that Reliance Jio 4G SIMs will be available to all from September 5. The only requirement: the users should have a 4G-compatible phone.
The service and its plans have already gathered enough buzz because of aggressive pricing and attractive data plans. The Jio service promises free unlimited 4G data till December 31 and unlimited free voice calls and messages. The company had said that starting from September 5, users can get a free SIM from Reliance Digital, Reliance Digital Xpress, and Reliance Digital Xpress mini stores.
When something is too good to be true it’s always best to go check for yourself. So IndiaToday tech team visited a few Reliance stores to check how the company is doling out the best and cheapest data plans to the common public. Unfortunately, it seems that it is not, that is not doling it out.
Here is what we found.
The Reliance Digital showroom at GIP mall opens at 11 in the morning. I reached there at 2.30pm and was met with a line of about 10-15 people, which was way below my expectation. But the reality was something else.
The store had set up a counter close to the gate and an employee was writing down customers’ names and phone numbers. On inquiring whether they are selling the SIMs, he said, “Sir, you’ll have to get into the line. We are now registering people for September 12.”
After further probing he said, “4,600 people have registered till Sept 9. More are coming every minute.”
This number was a little bit high, so I asked him the number of SIMs that were available this morning. He said 150.
Now, let’s do some calculation. 150 SIMs were made available on the first day of Reliance Jio launch, 4,600 people registered for the SIM till September 9. This means about eight people per SIM, and that also means a slim chance for everyone getting a SIM by September 9. The only way it is possible is if the supply of Jio SIM improves in the coming days. Just 150 SIM cards a day won’t work.
Did Reliance just pull a Freedom 251? Seems like it.