Reliance Jio is finally going to launch its 4G services in India on December 27. According to reports, Reliance employees have been invited by chairman Mukesh Ambani and Nita Ambani for a launch event on the same day. The launch will also mark founder Dhirubhai Ambani’s birthday on December 28.
According to reports, Reliance Jio will be launching the service with a slew of 4G VoLTE smartphones along with apps and services optimized for the faster network. The smartphones will be priced between Rs 4,000 and Rs 25,000, and will be called ‘Earth’, ‘Water’, ‘Wind’ and ‘Fire’. The devices will also be available via multi-brand stores such as Reliance Retail, and is likely to be available on e-commerce platforms such as Flipkart, Snpadeal and Amazon.
According to The Hindu, Jio will distribute about five lakh free SIM cards to its employees and affiliates. A commercial roll out is expected between April and June 2016 across nine cities in the first phase Chennai, Ahmedabad, Baroda, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur and Jamnagar.
Reliance Jio is likely to adopt the VoLTE network where the service provider can support voice calls on the 4G network. The company had been conducting beta testing for quite some time. It’s notable that Airtel, which already has launched 4G services in several cities, offers data on the 4G network and switches back to 2G or 3G for voice calls.
We have reached out to Reliance Jio for more insight on the 4G launch.
Reliance Jio’s 4G launch is expected to push the competition in the 4G market, which has currently very few players, and primarily dominated by Bharti Airtel. With pan-India licence, Jio’s entry is expected to help 4G broaden coverage in more areas of the country as well as boost the ecosystem comprised of affordable handsets, data and voice packs, dongles and content and apps.
It’s notable another telecom giant Vodafone is gearing up for 4G launch in the country. It has already started trials in select cities. Idea Cellular is likely to launch 4G services in select locations in 2016.