Reliance Jio To Launch 4G VoLTE Feature Phone On Independance Day

July 06, 2017 12:09
Reliance Jio To Launch 4G VoLTE Feature Phone On Independance Day

Reliance Jio To Launch 4G VoLTE Feature Phone On Independance Day:- A move which could bring in another wave of disruption in the telecom market, the much-awaited 4G VoLTE feature phone, with a price tag as low as Rs 500, is all set for a launch by Reliance Jio, this Independence Day.

Sources said, the launch, which some believe could be announced at the annual general meeting at parent Reliance Industries’ that is scheduled to be held on July 21. Following this announcement, would be another of Jio’s new tariff plan with aggressive price-points over the next couple of days, with its 84-day Dhan Dhana Dhan offer that was announced on April 11, drawing to a close.

Reliance Jio 4G VoLTE Feature Phone

Rajiv Sharma, HSBC director and telecoms analyst, said in a note, to lure 2G subscribers to directly switch to 4G, Jio is likely to price its 4G feature phone “at a paltry Rs 500 (sub-USD8). This implies “Jio subsidizing every handset by as much as USD10-15 (Rs 650-975).”

After a massive start, Jio mainly due to the limited number of affordable 4G handsets in the market, has observed a slow down in the pace of its customer acquisition. The 2G feature phone users who have been wary of shifting to smart phones due to the affordability factor and lack of use case, can be benefited by these phones supporting 4G VoLTE and priced affordably.

“This launch can create the next wave of disruption in the telecom market,” said a top executive of one of the leading telcos. “Not just us, but the existing players could surely lose a chunk of their low-end voice customers - most of whom are pre-paid - once this 4G feature phone is launched.”

Jio is the only operator that runs on a 4G VoLTE network, while trials are still ongoing in its competitors, such as AirtelBSE, Vodafone and Idea. They have not launched commercially yet.

“We will not get into this device price war. Let us see how deep the hit is,” the executive said, adding the “bloodbath in the market can continue for another year.” He was referring to the ongoing brutal price war since Jio’s entry last September which has hit the incumbent telcos’ revenue and profits and forced raid consolidation in the industry.

Having placed orders for 18-20 million of the 4G VoLTE feature phones, Jio appears to be ready to storm the market with its 4G devices. It also has some main Chinese original device manufacturers (ODMs) including Zhejiang Techain Electronics Technology Co., Shenzhen CHINO-E Communication Co, Crave and Megaphone. On an average of five million feature phones, the handset makers, roughly sell 15 million smart phones a month.

The shipments may begin from July end or early-August, with the company looking at a possible launch for August 15.

The feature phone of the Reliance Jio 4G VoLTE will come in two variants: one featuring a Qualcomm processor, and the other with a Spreadtrum chip, according to some leaked sources.

Specifications include:

- A 2.4-inch display

- 512MB RAM

- 4GB internal storage

- microSD card support

- 2-megapixel rear camera

- VGA front camera, Wi-Fi, GPS, and NFC.

Buyers will be able to access digital content on the feature phone courtesy, the free subscription to Jio apps with 4G VoLTE support,. Dedicated hardware buttons in the front for MyJio, JioTV, JioCinema, and JioMusic apps will be present on the device in fact. The voice calls and SMSs are also expected to be free with the device.

Additionally, a broadband service - named JioFiber is also expected to be launched soon by Jio. This announcement could be made at the AGM as well. Though the company said it has plans to expand the trial to more cities, the service is already under testing right now in six cities. The users will be provided with a 100GB data and 100Mbps speed with connection, and the service will be free for the first three months, said a flyer for the Jio broadband service. However, a refundable security deposit of Rs. 4,500 has to be paid by the users.


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