Since 4G is the new necessity when it comes to connectivity, now almost all new smartphones come with 4G support. While 4G-enabled smartphones are growing in popularity in the country, there are still a large number of users in India using feature phones. Reliance Jio is now looking to tap this segment by launching a new range of feature phones that will be priced as low as Rs 1,000. These phones will come bundled with unlimited voice and video calling, ET reported. Also Read - Jio maintains lead in 4G download speed, Vi in upload in May: TRAIAlso Read - Airtel launches new Rs 456 prepaid plan: Check data, validity, call and other benefits
“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,” the publication reported a source as saying, adding that the new devices will be aimed at first-time data users. “The 2G feature phone is still a big market in India.” Also Read - Jio Freedom Plans 2021: Jio launches 5 new prepaid plans with no daily data limit - check details
According to the report, Reliance is working on two feature phones, that will be priced between Rs 1,000 and Rs 1,500, and are expected to be launched early next year. These feature phones will hold functional similarities with smartphones and will include the use of data to access the Internet and make calls, the only thing that will keep the phone in the feature segment would be the touchscreen. BGR India has reached out the company, and we will update this space as and when we receive a response. ALSO READ: Reliance Jio Fiber FTTH 1Gbps broadband tariff plans to start at Rs 500: Report
Reliance Jio has been aiming to increase its user base to 100 million in shortest time, which would be equivalent to 38 percent of market leader Bharti Airtel’s 260 million subscribers in the country. Courtesy its ultra low-cost data plans under Welcome Offer, and unlimited voice calling for lifetime, Reliance Jio has already garnered over 25 million users. With 4G-enabled affordable feature phones, Jio may be able to accomplish soon. “If Jio launches VoLTE feature phones at Rs 1,000, it can potentially shake up the market because the target audience in that segment may prefer to choose phones with free calling inbuilt,” Navkendar Singh, a senior research manager with International Data Corp, told Gadgets Now.
According to the report, Reliance is in talks with Lava International and some Chinese original equipment makers to manufacture these feature phones. As per the pricing, Jio is believed to be subsidizing part of the selling price to make the 4G feature phones available at about Rs 1,000. Additionally, the initial batch of the feature phones could come with a branding from both Jio and Lava and will be sold through their respective retail channels to reach a wider market. ALSO READ: After 4G LTE, Reliance Jio sets eyes on DTH, broadband services
Other than that, Reliance Jio exploring other segments to expand its 4G service. Jio is prepping to enter the DTH and broadband service arena. Though nothing has been spoken about the timeline for a launch yet, Jio is working on soon offering broadband services with up to 1Gbps speeds, and a set-top-box with a host of HD channels.
Reliance Jio has been doing the groundwork for the better part of a decade now to lay down fiber optic cables across major cities in India. The company is set to offer Fiber To The Home (FTTH) services with speeds up to 1Gbps, and it has already started a limited pilot program in cities like Mumbai and Delhi. This isn t the first time we are hearing of Jio s FTTH plans, and Mukesh Ambani had mentioned about it during the Jio 4G launch earlier this year.