Reliance Jio’s next JioPhone might be a feature phone that does not support internet. According to a new report, the leading telecom operator in the country is working on a new feature phone made primarily for calling. This will be a huge departure from JioPhone and JioPhone 2, which are meant primarily for internet consumption. Reliance Jio launched these feature phones as a way to drive data consumption on its 4G only network. Now, the company might be preparing to offer a feature phone meant primarily for calling.
Reliance JioPhone Lite: Here’s what we know so far
The company is said to be conducting a survey with retailers about a calling only feature phone. 91mobiles reports that it could be called JioPhone Lite, citing sources at retail chain stores. With the calling-centric feature phone, Reliance Jio is looking to meet the demands of the underserved segments. There are a number of customers who still use feature phones in the country. At the launch of JioPhone, Reliance Jio claimed there are more than 500 million feature phone users in India. However, this will be a different approach for the company.
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According to the report, the JioPhone Lite will be priced around Rs 400 and will be under Rs 500. There is a possibility of this device being priced at Rs 399 and will be available with Rs 50 recharge pack. Both Airtel and Vodafone have customers who now have to do mandatory recharge every month for continued service. Reliance Jio might targeting such customers with its new device. It is said to be planning to offer 28 days validity, unlimited free calls to Jio and landline numbers. There will also be bundled minutes for calls to other networks. Reliance Jio has denied the report as rumor, IndianExpress reports.
The JioPhone Lite could be built on top of original JioPhone and feature an alphanumeric keyboard and a small display. There is a possibility that Reliance Jio is only surveying the feasibility and has no plans to launch such a device. Jio is already the leader in the market but it is facing pressure like other telecom players. With recent hike in tariffs, the company could be looking at new venues to bring in revenue. A calling-centric feature phone with Rs 50 monthly recharge sounds interesting. Airtel recently hiked the minimum recharge for its customers to Rs 45. So, we could see a new tariff war emerge sooner than later.