Surrounded by all sorts of controversies regarding launch its 4G services, Reliance Industries is playing all the tricks up to make a massive entry when the services officially become commercially available. This could officially come as a massive blow to Airtel but, Reliance Industries has decided to stop all the mobile subscriptions it has taken from Airtel for the company’s employees from this month. The disconnection of services has the potential to set Airtel back by multiple crores per quarter.
The company has reportedly advised all of its employees who were enrolled in Airtel’s corporate mobile services plan to disconnect their services from 24th August. An email saying this has been sent out to all of the employees. A copy of the email was reviewed by TeleAnalysis. The email asked the employees to use number portability to port their mobile numbers from Airtel to Reliance Jio network.
The company had subscribed for Airtel’s mobile services for its employees with a corporate plan for over a decade now. According to sources, the Mukesh Ambani’s group of companies pays around Rs. 12-15 crore per quarter and around Rs. 50 crore annually to Airtel. RIL had made a subscription to this subsidized corporate plan from Airtel at a Rs. 50 per month rental plan.
There has no decision been made on whether the landline connections will be disconnected. The mobile connections will be canceled, though. The Mukesh Ambani telecom firm Reliance Jio is about to launch its 4G services very soon and will be Airtels one of its biggest competitors.
The discontinuation of the corporate plans is a clear sign of hostility in healthy competition. The imminent launch of 4G services by Reliance has raised some eyebrows with controversies relating to the company bypassing the regulations. However, the cheap services have also raised interest from existing and new customers.
Currently, competitors like Airtel and Vodafone are offering 4G plans at the same cost as 3G. Considering the broad aspects, this will not affect the direct revenues of the company, but the consumers will have no way out in case the prices are increased. In such a situation, as is the likely consumer behavior, the volumes might shift to cheaper alternatives like Reliance.
Strategic wars are almost a direct result of the recent tighter regulations imposed by the TRAI, and they continue to mold terms in new ways, time and again. What the next consultation paper has in store is not known, yet.