On 1 September, with much fanfare, Reliance Jio was unveiled to the public by the company's chairman Mukesh Ambani. Not only did the company offer the promise of a genuine 4G connection, it also doled out unlimited and free Internet to every Jio customer until the end of the year.
And, with that, the war of telcos began. This war extends to the quantity and quality of content -- such as music, films, live TV -- that the companies offer to their customers.
Currently, Jio seems to be enjoying an edge over rivals. Another key announcement made on 1 September was that Jio customers will enjoy free access to all the content available on the Jio platform until the end of the year. In other words, subscription to all Jio apps would be free for the rest of 2016.
The company has more than 9 apps in the Play Store and App Store, and a look at the Google Play Store free apps chart will show that many of them are topping the rankings. Besides Jio Chat, JioNet, and Jio4G Voice, there are apps offering content to the consumer in different categories.
For instance, JioCinema offers video content such as movies, TV shows, and music videos. And, with Reliance entertainment's big library at its disposal, the app claims to have a growing collection of content that exceeds 1 lakh hours.
Just as Jio's MyJio App, Airtel has a My Airtel App that provides access to different content libraries. For movies, there is Wynk Movies. And, for more movies, along with shows, there are Hooq TV and Eros Now with exclusive offers for Airtel customers. However, there is no free subscription as in Jio's case.
Jio offers a music app, called Jio Music, and Airtel offers one called Wynk music. Both services are free for their respective customers. Users can stream and download music without any cost at any time.
And, while Jio's voice calls are always free, Airtel has released a dialer app that gives free talk time worth ₹50 to consumers.
Vodafone, meanwhile, has packaged it all up in a single app called Vodafone Play. And like Jio, its customers can avail free premium content offer until the end of the year. The unified app offers music, TV shows and movies presented by Hooq and Hungama, and it offers live TV in partnership with Ditto TV and videos. However, the Vodafone music service only works on the data connection.
Backing all this will, of course, be the data offered by the phone companies. Jio is ahead of the curve with unlimited data till the end of the year. Vodafone has slashed rates and is offering 9 GB of data on new devices. Airtel is also offering 15 GB data on the recharge of 1 GB data in select circles at the moment.