From January 1, Reliance Jio Infocomm will serve the country’s largest accounts in telecom- the railways. The officials say that it is likely to decrease the national transporter’s phone bills by around 35%.

The Railway official said, Railways have been using Bharti Airtel as its telecom provider for over six years and for which Railways paid around 100 crore bill per year. In Closed User Group (CUG) 1.95 lakh mobile phone connections are used by Railway employees across the country. Its validity will expire on Dec 31 this year.

An order was issued by Railway Board on November 20 that said, it has assigned the responsibility to RailTel for the finalization of new CUG scheme as the validity of current scheme of CUG for Indian railways will expire of December 31, 2018. RailTel has finalized the fresh CUG scheme to Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited and has awarded the contract to implement the new scheme. The fresh and new CUG scheme will be into action from January 1, 2019.

The details and tariff rates are yet to be provided by the company. CUG is a supplementary service provided by the telecom operators to the subscribers who can make calls to any member associated in the group. SMS service is also applicable.

Under this scheme, Reliance Jio will provide internet services of 4G/3G and calls will be free of cost. The company will provide three packages to the railway. For senior-most officials, the company will provide 60 GB plan with monthly rental of Rs 125. For Joint Secretary level officers, 45GB plan with a per month rent of Rs 99. Group C staff, 30 GB plan at a rental of Rs 67 and Rs 49 rental for bulk SMS.

For regular subscribers, 25 GB plan is available for Rs 199. The internet pack of 3G/4G is much cheaper than the current packs available for railways.

A senior official said, Airtel was serving 1.95 lakh railway subscribers but Jio will be serving 3.78 lakh personnel of the railways. We are getting a better deal from the service provider due to an increase in the number. We are likely to reduce our phone bills by around 35%.