Reliance Jio to Introduce a Range of Feature Phones in the Indian Market

Reliance Jio  is the newest entrant in the India telecom sector, offering data, premium applications, voice and video calling, and messaging services to millions of individuals across the country.

Jio services are currently offered under the Reliance Jio Welcome Offer. It allows individuals to consume unlimited Jio 4G data, voice and video, and messaging services for free up till the 31st of December, 2016. Owing to the high-speed Internet and the aforementioned welcome offer, the company has been able to amass a wide user base of more than 25 million subscribers. It makes Reliance Jio a pioneer in terms of user base acquisition, since the company garnered millions of customers in the shortest period of time. The long-term goal for the company is to garner 100 million subscribers at the earliest.

VoLTE-compatible devices

Functioning as a comprehensive digital ecosystem, the world’s largest start-up as it is often called plans to introduce a new line of cellular devices, namely VoLTE-compatible feature phones. Simply put, a feature phone is a device that incorporates access to the Web, has inbuilt cameras, and audio and video playback but lacks advanced features which are commonly found in smart phones.

The Indian market

In order to encourage those individuals who only utilize the calling feature of their phones to try out data services, Reliance Jio is creating these affordable handsets, which will also be easier to use. The 2G market in India is a large one, and this move will help the company to tap into the same. In the country, almost 65% of the population uses feature phones. Since entry level smart phones are still priced around Rs. 3,000, the price acts as a barrier for people, which these phones by Jio aim to eliminate.

Reliance Jio feature phones

Jio is currently working on two feature phone models, which are to be priced in the Rs. 1000-1500 bracket. To be launched during the first half of 2017, these phones will help feature phone users to harness the power of data. Providing access to data and calling, these devices will not have a touchscreen. The handsets are slated to be powered by Chinese Chipset Company, Spreadtrum, and Jio plans to collaborate with Mediatek and Qualcomm as well. Navkendar Singh, Senior Research Manager at International Data Corp stated that these phones will lead to competition in the market. He predicts that the target sector’s audience will prefer these handsets since all phone calls would also be free.

Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Jio’s line of 4G and VoLTE-supporting feature phones are aimed at serving the millions of users who can only afford these phones. To be priced as low as Rs. 1,000, these mobile phones will also be offered with the Jio SIM card welcome offer, providing users unlimited voice and video calling, messaging, and digital content. The target audience is mainly focused in the rural sectors as well as Tier-III markets of India.

Summary

Reliance Jio will introduce affordable feature phones aimed at first-time data users and the rural markets.

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