MUMBAI, March 31 India's Reliance Jio, the
telecom unit of Reliance Industries, said on Friday it
had signed up 72 million paying customers under its Prime plan,
and added it had extended the enrolment deadline for the plan
until April 15.
Jio's Prime plan is a critical component of the company's
push to start charging its customers after starting operations
in September with free data and calls.
Under the plan, Jio would charge those who enrol 303 rupees
($4.67) per month for unlimited data and free voice services for
a year starting on Saturday, although usage of 4G data would be
capped at 1 gigabytes per day.
Jio had set an enrolment deadline of Friday, which has now
been extended until mid-April.
The company also sweetened its offering by saying those paid
the monthly fee of 303 rupees by April 15 would receive free
services for three months.
Jio has upended India's telecom sector since its entry,
forcing rivals Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Group Plc's
Indian unit into lowering their prices, thus eroding
profits across the sector.
Both providers have also tried to match Jio's Prime plan
with extra data offers.
Jio has also transformed the sector by forcing
consolidation, with Vodafone and smaller rival Ideal Cellular
this month announcing a merger, while Bharti is
absorbing Telenor's Indian unit.
($1 = 64.8500 Indian rupees)
(Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Writing by Devidutta Tripathy;
Editing by Rafael Nam)