Reliance Jio announces launch of 4G feature phone at Rs. 1500

Jio Phone in Focus at Reliance AGM as Mukesh Ambani Takes Stage Live Updates

New entrant to the telecom sector Reliance Jio, now entered the feature phone market with its very first VoLTE feature phone. Yes, Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani today announced the launch of the JioPhone, which will be free of cost for Indians.

It will be interesting to see how the incumbent operators like Airtel, Vodafone and Idea react to Jio's offer.

The user-friendly phone will feature a 2.4 QVGA display along with an alphanumeric keypad and will support a micro SD card slot.

Today, the company announced a feature phone and yet again it is out of its Santa's bag. This TV cable is compatible with CRT TVs as well.

The company will also offer similar features for a weekly plan for Rs54, and a two-day plan of Rs24.

Sandip Das, senior advisor at Analysys Mason, was of the view that the big three incumbents could lose a multitude of their 2G customers and data-hungry users in the under 35-years age group to Jio if they are unable to come up quickly with matching 4G VoLTE feature phones at similarly aggressive price points. Rather symbolically, 15 August has been set as the date for the commencement of the beta test. Interestingly, Jio Phone supports 22 Indian languages.

Reliance Jio launched its 4G service commercially on 5 September 2016 offering free data and voice services.

Keeping this in mind, Reliance is planning to build, within a decade, new businesses of the same value as our existing businesses, thereby further consolidating its position as one of the world's leading value creators. Ambani at the event said, "Creating fixed-line high-speed broadband services is the next leap forward for our country". "The target is to have 5 million JioPhones available every week", said Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries Ltd.

But most importantly, let's talk about what this "essentially free" pricing is all about.

Even if this is a feature phone, you have numbers of apps to enjoy. About 20 crore users pay a bill of more than Rs 150 per month.

Will Mukesh Ambani's decision to offer 4G-LTE feature phones for a three-year refundable security deposit of Rs 1,500 and unlimited voice and data at Rs 153 per month succeed in killing 2G?

That last part is crucial. This deposit will be refunded after 36 months on return of the phone. The phone comes preloaded with all Jio applications like Jio Cinema, Jio Music etc.

If you want to buy the JioPhone, you will have to book it.

You will, nearly certainly, not be able to download Google Play, so say bye-bye to all Play Store apps.

Jio apps have separate buttons on the JioPhone.

He said the digital disempowerment and unfairness must end and Jio is committed to end it. Eventually, they could bundle data plans, along with broadband plans and maybe even DTH. "Jio will give them access to unlimited data on the Jio phone", he said. Reliance Jio users will get an option to browse Internet on the device as well. "Jio will charge a refundable security deposit of Rs 1,500 for Jio Phone".

"JioPhone is a move to reach out to the next 100 million users".

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