Archive for May, 2016

All You Need to Know About Jio’s Newly Launched Applications

May 27, 2016

Reliance Jio’s network venture is through with the soft launch that was kick-started by distributing its SIMs among employees. The company intends to optimize its network before launching full-scale services. In view of this, it has permitted its employees to invite 10 acquaintances to avail of Jio’s free data services for three months. Reliance has also launched two new smartphones in its LYF FLAME series, LYF FLAME 3 and LYF FLAME 4, adding to the existing portfolio of LYF FLAME 1 and LYF FLAME 2 smartphones. The smartphones have been launched at Rs 3,999 and support 4G LTE with Voice over LTE (VoLTE).

Jio apps under one roof

Jio’s network has already received a heads-up from several users and the plethora of applications that it has on offer are surely creating waves. These applications are beta versions and are expected to be updated prior to the final launch. Gaining access to them also requires creating a Jio ID and password.

My Jio

The My Jio app serves the basic yet essential function of keeping a tab on your data consumption, recharges and balances. This app has a clean interface with three simple buttons, ‘usage’, ‘recharge’ and ‘add number’. Users can choose from three different plans namely, ‘voice and SMS’, ‘data recharges’ and ‘combo’. The best feature about it remains the easy access to contacts wherein you are able to chat, call or email anyone.

Jio Join and Jio Security

Jio Join’s main function is to process voice calls and SMSs on Jio’s 4G network. Simply put, your native dialer and the Jio Join app works in conjunction to facilitate calls. The app functions in the background to ensure making and receiving calls is easy.

The Jio Security app operates seamlessly to detect possible threats to your device. This Norton powered app also has an important anti-theft as well as call blocking feature.

Jio Beats, Jio On Demand and Jio Play

The best thing about the Jio Beats app is its exhaustive collection of songs. Searching even the oldest tracks is not a task. The app even boasts of some great movies and regularly updates a Weekly Top 20 list of songs.

Jio On Demand has a comprehensive list of movies and TV shows (including approximately 600-800 movies). A striking feature is the availability of videos in several languages and the app proves to be a definite rival to incumbents like HotStar.

Jio Play brings the world of television at your fingertips with around 300 channels. The app records shows, thus, allowing you to view missed episodes at a later stage. The download option also facilitates easy download of several shows.

Other Jio apps

JioXpressNews and Jio Mags offer users the comfort of paperless reading. The former offers news on various topics while the latter allows users to browse through popular magazines. Language and topic selection is easy and caters to a varied audience.

Jio Money is a one click option to complete payments like landline, electricity and DTH bills. Jio Chat on the other hand offers users the option of video calling. Jio also has a cloud storage facility in the form of the app Jio Drive. Its USP is the ability to transfer data from one device to another in a single click.

Apart from these, Reliance has many other apps in the pipeline that are only open for trial if you register as a tester. Some include Jio Now, Net Velocity and Jio Broadcast among the many.

Summary

Reliance Jio’s data services comprise several new apps to enthrall customers.

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Reliance Retail’s Flame 1 and Wind 4 Up for Sale at Rs. 4,799 and Rs. 6,799 Respectively

May 23, 2016

Reliance Retail has successfully made its foray into the digital segment by introducing their line of VoLTE-enabled smart phones such as EARTH 1, LYF WATER 1, LYF FLAME 1, LYF WATER 2, LYF FLAME 2, LYF WIND 4, LYF WIND 6 and LYF WATER 5. This has been viewed as a smart move considering the company’s telecom arm will soon be launching high-speed data services to enhance the functionality of these devices.

Newly launched devices

The advanced handsets have already begun creating waves in the market, with the Water 5 being one of the first smart phones made available over online shopping portals like Amazon. After having garnered positive reviews for the same, the retail arm intends to maintain a steady supply of more models under the same brand. To make it through the highly competitive market, Reliance has devised a clever marketing strategy by offering quality smart phones at economical prices to lure consumers. Besides, the growing trend of 4G data consumption among network users in the country has provided Jio, a platform to establish its strong-hold in the broadband sector.

VoLTE phones at affordable prices

From the range of VoLTE-enabled smart phones put up for sale, the Flame 1 and Wind 4 are considered to be among the most affordable. While the former is available at Rs. 4,799, the latter is offered at Rs. 6,799. Both differ highly with regard to their specifications. While the Flame 1 comes with great entry-level features, the Wind 4 offers a delightful package of quality specifications at a few more thousand rupees for those who wouldn’t mind spending a little more.

LYF Wind 4

Some of the main highlights of the Wind 4 include an eight megapixel rear and a two megapixel front camera. Packed with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 quad-core processor and 1GB RAM, the handset assures a rich digital experience at an affordable price. The phone also scores with an 8GB internal storage that can easily be expanded up to 128GB. However, the driving force behind it remains its powerful 4000mAh battery, providing a talk-time of around 28 hours.

LYF Flame 1

Before the launch of WIND 4, LYF launched the FLAME 1 which sold for under Rs. 7000– A first for a 4G mobile in India. The Flame 1 also has a range of decent specifications to boast of. It offers a lot more despite its modest price. Packed with a five megapixel rear and two megapixel front camera, the phone offers great picture quality. The experience is heightened with the build-quality of the handset that comes with two-point multi-touch feature and a WVGA display. It is fuelled by 1GB RAM and a quad-core MediumTek 6735M processor. The phone is built to last and its storage capacity of 8GB, expandable up to 32GB makes it a worthwhile purchase. The company assures high-quality and vouches for the handset’s 1500mAh battery that is capable of providing a talk-time of 7.5 hours. The software used in both devices is Android 5.1 Lollipop and come with dual-SIM features.

Reliance intends to collaborate with online shopping portals Snapdeal and Flipkart in the near future to manage sales of their phones. LYF handsets are also now available for purchase across various Reliance outlets in the country. Brokerage firm, CLSA stated that LYF is expected to become a one billion dollar brand by FY17. Furthermore, Counterpoint Research even stated that the company had garnered a seven percent market share in FY16.

Summary

Reliance Retail recently launched two LYF handsets, the Flame 1 and Wind 4 at affordable prices.

Reliance Jio’s LYF is the Fifth Largest Smart Phone Brand in the Country

May 19, 2016

Reliance Retail’s LYF brand has battled it out to emerge as the fifth largest smart phone brand in the country. Despite the shipment of smart phone brands in the country experiencing an all-time low; Reliance has not faced any hiccups with regard to shipment of their LYF handsets.

The steep 8.2 percent fall in shipments of smart phones in the first quarter was held in stark contrast to Reliance’s considerable performance in the electronics sector. The growth was attributed to the sudden demand for 4G mobiles in India. These findings were reported by the International Data Corp (IDC).

A good start for Reliance

Reliance Retail’s LYF smart phones have garnered positive reviews since its launch in the fourth quarter. One of the main reasons for its growth in the electronics sector appears to be Jio’s unparalleled 4G data services. Going by the IDC report, the retail arm has even managed to outdo Lava International with regard to smart phone shipments. Jio’s VoLTE devices will have a surge in buyers in the coming months post the commercial launch of its data services.

Decline in smart phone shipments

Although the overall smart phone shipments are lagging behind schedule, IDC trade analysts confirmed that things would be on track in the succeeding quarters. IDCs senior research manager Navkendar Singh spoke with reference to smart phone manufacturers stating that the emerging trend was to offer consumers affordable data packages and cost-efficient handsets.

Seven percent market share

LYF has already garnered a seven percent share in the market. The phones are available in eight models; three of them have already hit the Reliance Digital Stores. Other LYF handsets are available for purchase at various Reliance stores and online shopping portals. The 4G LTE phones such as EARTH 1, LYF WATER 1, LYF FLAME 1, LYF WATER 2, LYF FLAME 2, LYF WIND 4, LYF WIND 6 and LYF WATER 5 are decently priced and range from Rs. 4,799 to over Rs. 15,000.

Trial phase for employees

Jio’s head of strategy and planning, Anshuman Thakur revealed that the much-awaited 4G launch was scheduled for a later date to complete network optimization and avoid the possibility of technical glitches. Prior to the commencement of full-scale services, the company held a trial phase for all its employees and associates on the 28th of December, 2015. The combined effort of the company’s 5,00,000 work-force ensured the venture’s success. 

Invite-only program

The invite program kick-started by the telecom arm also facilitated the popularity of the company’s 4G services. As per the initiative, Reliance employees were permitted to invite ten acquaintances to try out Jio’s high-speed network. On furnishing identity proof and the unique invitation code received through mail, the members could then obtain a SIM and avail of the data services.

It is evident that Reliance has clearly defined its future ahead. The company is said to have signed an Intra-Circle Roaming deal with BSNL. According to an ET report, the deal will be operational across 22 circles. Jio also took steps to ensure a seamless network framework by collaborating with Reliance Communications for spectrum-sharing across nine circles. Additionally, the company confirmed its decision to use the Bay of Bengal Gateway to fuel Jio’s broadband services.

Summary

LYF brand emerges as the fifth largest smart phone brand in the country despite decline in shipments of other smart phone brands.

 

Reliance Jio Set for Commercial Launch of Network Services

May 13, 2016

The much-awaited commercial launch of Reliance Jio’s 4G network will see the daylight in months to come. All major preparations have been made and the stage is now set for the big day. Therefore, the company is using this interim period to terminate contracts with employees who were taken on-board for several projects.

Launch of commercial services

With regard to the launch, Asia-based investment group CLSA reported on the 6th of May that, the telecom arm was contemplating full-scale commercial operations from October onwards.

“With Jio willing to showcase its services to a larger user base, we may be nearing a commercial launch. We model a start of Jio’s commercial operations from October ’16… and model in 25 million/70 million subscribers by the end of FY17-18”, said CLSA analysts Vikas Kumar Jain, Deepti Chaturvedi and Akshat Agarwal. Furthermore, another report by Morgan Stanley on the 9th of May mentioned the service roll-out in the next three to nine months.

Jio collaborates with RCom

Morgan Stanley further went on to confirm the collaboration of Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Industries with Reliance Communications (RCom). As per the report, the 850MHz RCom spectrum would be integrated into Jio’s spectrum to facilitate better coverage and network services for the latter.

Employee-driven projects

The employees working at Reliance Industries have been the driving force behind its network model. Mukesh Ambani at the 41st annual general meeting in June 2015 revealed that, the company had a work-force of around 17,500 people. He further stated that over 1,50,000 people were working towards branching out Jio’s broadband services across the country.

Releasing employees

With the system in place and services set to run, the company has considered it wise to release employees who have performed their role in the broadband program. The contracts with the latter initially spanned two years. However, the allotted projects were completed earlier than expected.

“Jio had hired some of the best minds in the business at exceptional pay packages. Once they finished putting the system in place, their services were no longer required,” said a senior executive with a global recruitment agency on condition of anonymity.

Trial phase

Employees of the telecom company achieved much success in the trial phase that required them to invite ten people to avail of Jio’s free data services. The offer included unlimited voice calls and data facilities for three months with the only pre-requisite being purchase of a LYF smart phone. While the services come at no cost, the trial SIM comes only with the LYF handsets such as EARTH 1, LYF WATER 1, LYF FLAME 1, LYF WATER 2, LYF FLAME 2, LYF WIND 4, LYF WIND 6 and LYF WATER 5.

Reliance Retail’s LYF Water 5 was the first handset to be launched under the brand. The company also resorted to online retailing for its sale by partnering with trending shopping portal Amazon. The Water 5 priced at Rs. 11,699 has seen an increase in customers ever since. To further promote sales of their smart TVs and LYF phones, Reliance Retail has approached several electronic retailers and online shopping portals. With a whopping Rs. 1.5 trillion invested in the venture, all hopes are pinned on the success of the commercial launch.

Summary

Reliance Jio Infocomm prepares to roll-out full-scale broadband operations in the coming months.

Reliance LYF Smartphones Debut on Amazon

May 9, 2016

Reliance Jio has begun sales of its LYF branded devices online, exclusively on Amazon. LYF Water 5, a 4G mobile was launched on 7th of May. LYF handsets were launched on Reliance Digital, Digital Express and mylyf.com in January. LYF Water 5 is only available on Amazon, and retails at Rs11, 699.

LYF smart phones

Since the launch of the smart phones, LYF has quickly risen up to own about 7% of the smart phone market. In a segment dominated by Samsung, LYF is the 5th largest player, having sold more than 1.5 million devices by April.

Available in variants namely – Fire, Earth, LYF Water 1, LYF FLAME 1 and Wind, these phones fall in the range of Rs 5,490 to Rs19, 499. Reliance is currently in talks with several other retailers both online and offline including Flipkart, Snapdeal, Vijay Sales and Mobile Store, etc. Additionally, further plans may include brick & mortar stores which would help amplify the sales. An anonymous source suggested that many more tie ups and devices may already be underway.

Reliance Jio

The Mukesh Ambani owned Jio aims at providing quality broadband and digital services across India. Although currently the focus is on smart phones, it will soon be providing 4G services, along with content options for television sets. The largest owner of telecom spectrum in India, Reliance Jio currently is offering trial sim cards on invite basis only. Reliance employees can refer 10 individuals each, who are to receive unlimited calls along with 4G data for the next three months. This applies exclusively to LYF smart phones – along with the smart phone, the referral can get you the trial sim card. Earlier they were made available to more than 5 lakh users consisting of Reliance employees, major stakeholders, vendors, close associates, etc. Having opened a slight window to the public, this might be the true test for Jio as it provides a safe platform to check customer satisfaction and the efficiency of the network in real life.

Jio’s planning consists of having over 3,000 service engineers on board, and the extensive division of India into 1100 markets with one Jio centre each to facilitate better service.

Future Plans

Jio plans to release products such as dongles, cameras, wearable electronic accessories, etc. under its LYF brand. Following Reliance’s quarterly report, the head of Strategy and Planning, Anshuman Thakur said, “We want to have an extensive testing phase because it is for the first time that it’s being launched anywhere in the world on this scale.” Jio is currently awaiting the acquisition of the 800 MHz spectrum from Reliance Communications. Thakur added that the commercial launch will soon follow the trials.

In order to amplify the sales of Jio and LYF devices, Reliance plans to add 80,000 signboards at outlets selling smart phones, in addition to using traditional and digital advertising.

A Morgan Stanley report, dated 25th April said that Jio would be launched in the following 3 to 9 months. The report also stated that over 30 million subscribers are estimated to become a part of Jio by the end of this financial year, garnering revenue of over $1 billion for Jio.

Summary

Reliance LYF smart phone debuts on Amazon. Jio sim card trials are ongoing, and may release later this year.

RIL Performing Considerably Well in Core-Refining Business

May 3, 2016

Reliance Industries’ success in the refining industry has been lauded by many, as per a report by Citi Research. Considering this, the company now intends on initiating new projects to enhance the growth of Reliance Industries.

Ensuring unparalleled services

The Citi Research report stated the reason for Reliance Jio’s post-poned launch of its 4G network venture. As per the report, the company has taken the step to ensure seamless functionality of its services. Reliance Jio Infocomm has a lot of money riding on the venture, approximately 22 billion dollars. Therefore, the company is doing its best to ensure that there remains no room for error.

Spectrum integration

One of the most recent developments with regard to Jio’s telecom venture is the spectrum integration of Reliance Jio Infocomm and Reliance Communications (RCom). Anil Ambani owned RCom’s 800 MHz spectrum has been integrated with Jio Infocomm’s and received approval from the Department of Telecommunications. This spectrum-sharing concept will make Jio an unparalleled competitor in the market. In fact Jio Infocomm with its sub-1GHz pan-India Long Term Evolution (LTE) will be the sole contender in the market with this feature. This collaborated effort will see an increase in Reliance Jio Infocomm’s coverage of 70 percent to an impressive 90 percent.

Steady rise in subscription

Reliance Jio is soon to encounter an even more successful phase in the coming years. The telecom arm is predicted to have a subscriber base of 30 million by the financial year 2017. Reliance will therefore, derive a revenue of one billion dollars from the success. However, the growth will not end there. The fiscal year 2018 will see a further increase in subscribers, approximately 60 million which will be a two-fold increase. These findings have been put together in a report by Morgan Stanley.

Morgan Stanley report on Jio Infocomm

The report co-authored by Amruta Pabalkar, Vinay Jaising and Rakesh Sethia revealed that the telecom company would launch its 4G network services within a span of three to nine months. The December of 2015 also saw an unveiling of the telecom company’s services to an estimated 80,000 employees on Reliance Founder’s Day. Commercial services will also commence in the ongoing year, as confirmed by Reliance.

Test phase for 4G network

To further avoid technical glitches, Jio Infocomm had conducted a test phase that involved 0.56 million participants. The subsequent results revealed a massive data consumption of 18GB which proved to be insightful to the company. The test program will now see further expansion with more customers enrolling for the process; this will further increase Jio’s subscription base.

Investments for telecom expansion

Having spent a whopping Rs. 1.2 trillion in the FY16, Reliance is set to invest another Rs. 30,000 crore in the current financial year. The company will invest towards 30,000 RKm of fiber cables, 10,000 towers and double the small cells. This will be an addition to the existing network layout of 270,000 RKm of fiber, 90,000 towers and 50,000 small cells. Management insiders stated that the company would continue to build-in capital expenditure of 15 percent in the long-run.

Summary

Reliance Industries gets positive reviews owing to success on the refining and petrochemicals business front.