Reliance Jio's new feature phone, powered by VoLTE may be priced as low as Rs 500 and may cause disruptions in market.
Mumbai: After single-handedly taking over the country with its super saver ‘Dhan Dhana Dhan’ offer, Reliance Jio is ready to strike the market and other telcos with the launch of its 4G VoLTE feature phone which may be priced as low as Rs 500.
The launch of this eagerly-awaited feature phone comes amid complaints from telecom operators like Reliance Communications, accusing Jio of causing market disruptions.
According to an article in Economic Times, HSBC has predicted that the phone will be priced at Rs 500, which may cause more resentment among other telcom players. Jio is likely to price its 4G feature phone “at a paltry Rs 500 (sub-$8) to lure 2G subscribers to directly switch to 4G”, which implies “Jio subsidising each handset by as much as $10-15 (Rs 650-975)”, Rajiv Sharma, HSBC director and telecoms analyst, said in a note seen by ET.
The launch may be announced at Reliance Industries’ AGM in July. Jio’s new tariff plan is also likely to be announced on the same day with the Dhan Dhana Dhan offer coming to an end.
Judging by Jio’s efforts towards aggressively maintaining low prices, analysts reckon the new feature phone will be a combination of low tariffs and a 4G VoLTE feature. Order for 18-20 million of these phones have been placed according to sources. The phone will feature some Chinese original device manufacturers including Zhejiang Techain Electronics Technology Co., Shenzhen CHINO-E Communication Co, Crave and Megaphone.
Currently, Jio is the only player in the market which is successfully running a 4G VoLTE network. Others like Airtel, Vodafone and Idea are still running it on pilot basis and are yet to launch it commercially.
People familiar with the details of this phone said that shipments should start by end of this month or early-August, with the company looking at a possible launch for August 15.