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Reliance Jio's sub Rs1500 4G VoLTE phones can be disruptive

In September 2016, Reliance disrupted the telecom space by launching 'Jio' with super affordable 4G tariffs. The company seems to be geared to continue its disruptive streak by launching super affordable feature phones that, apparently, will do away with the need for smartphones.

Reliance Jio is working with domestic manufacturers like Lava to manufacture these phones. Also,
the phones will be partly subsidised to keep the price within the range of Rs 1,000 – Rs 1,500. These phones will carry both Jio and Lava branding. The VoLTE feature phones will have a keypad, front-facing and rear cameras and will run on the Android operating system. These devices will be equipped with Jio’s content applications such as Jio Chat, Live TV and video on demand. Jio will push its digital wallet service, Jio Money Wallet, through these feature phones.

Reliance Industries recently announced that it will spend another Rs 30,000 crore to enhance the network coverage and capacity of Reliance Jio Infocomm, taking the total investment in the telecoms venture to more than Rs 2 lakh crore.

It seems Jio wants to tap all the segments in the country and sees huge potential in the rural areas, which it now aims to tap with VoLTE feature phones. Jio’s VoLTE feature phones could increase the rate of migration within the feature phone category while lowering that of feature phones to smartphones.

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