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Jio 4G SIM: Get in queue for free or pay

Once a consumer gets the SIM, there is more delay of one week for formalities

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: Aug 29 2016 4:28PM | Updated Date: Aug 29 2016 4:28PM

Jio 4G SIM: Get in queue for free or pay
Jio, the 4G service that Reliance Industries is preparing for an official launch, is one of the most exciting things to happen in the world of Indian telecom market in a long long time. Starved of data and reliable 3G or 4G services, people have great hopes from Jio. The fact that it is currently available for free for almost all 4G-enabled phones is making it a great crown puller. 
 
 
The rush is truly maddening. People queuing outside Reliance Digital stores and Reliance Digital Express Mini are real. And in places where there are no queues, that is because of some mechanism contrived by the store managers to keep the crowd out, a mechanism that may seem just or unfair, depending what it entails and how badly you want a SIM. 
 
 
In most Digital Express Mini stores in Delhi - the shops run by phone dealers in partnership with Reliance - the wait for the Jio SIM is now running into 7-10 days, even if there are no queues outside the store. "If you want a Jio SIM, you have to leave your name, number and phone's manufacturer. Please list them in this register," a Xpress Mini store manager in South Delhi IndiaToday.In on Saturday. "Once the people who are waiting ahead of you get it, we will give you a call and you will have to come to the store with KYC documents (address proof, photos etc) to get you SIM."
 
 
Once a consumer gets the SIM, there is more delay. "We scan the documents and send to the Jio office immediately. Ideally, it is supposed to take an hour or two before the details are confirmed from the user using tele-verification. But as I said Jio doesn't have a mechanism to deal with the rush they are facing right now. The verification servers are often down. We are seeing verifications happening in at least four five day," he said. 
 
 
Similarly, all major phone shops have the stock of Jio SIM cards but they are not only allowed to bundle them with handset they sell. For example if you buy a LG or Samsung phone, or a Lyf phone, you can get the Jio SIM from almost any shop. 
 
 
The sentiment among the phone dealers is that "free SIM" is a great thing for consumers. But it doesn't give dealers anything. They can only make money by making the Jio SIM a bargaining chip that can help them sell a phone or two.
 
 
Jio and the partner companies like Samsung, LG and Asus too haven't helped the matters. The lack of clear communication from Jio on which phones are eligible for the service and the seemingly planned method of adding a company into the Jio mix everyday has muddled the message. This has allowed the phone dealers to reject or accept phones for Jio connection at their discretion as well as has emboldened them to misuse the whole process. 
 
 
Although, even if you get the Jio SIM card by buying a new phone - or JioFi, a Wi-Fi router that works with the SIM - you will have to follow the same activation and registration process that other consumers are following. This means whether you get a SIM ‘free’ or after paying for a new phone, it may take at least 4 to 5 days before your SIM card is activated and you can use it.