They’ve already caused a lot of disruption in the cellular phone network arena with their free voice and high-speed data offer. Now, Reliance Jio has another happy bomb in its arsenal it wishes to drop. The company may start offering low-cost, 4G enabled VOLTE feature phones, which would also allow free voice calling.
Reliance Jio is expected to launch these phones in the first quarter of 2017 and could price them in the range of Rs.999 – Rs. 1,500. In a shocking move which would change the way the cellphone industry functions in India, these Feature phones could come with Front & Rear Cameras, some bundled apps such as Jio Live TV, Chat and Video-on-demand. Helping the government boost its demonetization strategy, the company’s Jio Money Wallet could also be introduced with the phone.
According to the report, analysts believe that this move will choke the Smartphone market’s growth in India, as many users who are still latched on to Feature Phones, will prefer to migrate to these low cost Jio phones. We expect a new price war to happen whenever Reliance Jio comes up with these phones. Our guess is, it could happen once their Free Data and Voice offer expires on March 31st 2017.
A wholly owned subsidiary of cash rich Reliance Industries, Jio is the only 100% VOLTE (Voice over LTE) operator in the country, with coverage across all 22 telecom circles in India.