Reliance Jio is likely to launch its much awaited 4G feature phone priced as low as Rs 500, a media report said, which would further stiffen competition in the telecom sector which Mukesh Ambani’s venture has already disrupted.
The launch could be during RIL’s annual general meeting on July 21, The Economic Times reported on Wednesday.
Rumour are also rife that Reliance Jio may soon launch a new 4G-capable laptop with dedicated 4G SIM slot, besides more offers and deeper discounts.
As its Dhan Dhana Dhan offer comes to a close, telecom sector observers say that Jio will continue on its customer acquisition spree with aggressive tariffs plans. Jio already has 112.55 million subscribers as of April 2017.
Currently, Jio offers smartphones under its Lyf brand, starting as low as Rs 3,000, in the economy 4G phones segment of the likes of Micromax and Intex. But a 4G phone worth Rs 500 would disrupt the Indian telecom sector that has been seen huge competition since the launch of Jio in 2016.
Mukesh Ambani has been capitalising on India’s growing internet users with big investment plans into his venture Jio. According to a recent Internet Trends 2017 report by Mary Meeker, India’s access to internet has growing exponentially from mobile phones, with 355 million users on phones in June 2016 and 277 million broadband users, as of March 2017. Only China has larger internet-using population of around 700 million.
Interestingly, 72% of Internet users in India are less than 35 years of age.
Reliance derives the bulk of its revenue from its core refining and petrochemicals operations, but the group has bet big on Reliance Jio Infocomm. When launched in September 2016, Jio offered a flurry of cheap phones, free voice and data plans, forcing some rivals to crumble and others to unite.
Mukesh Ambani’s younger brother Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications merged with its smaller rival Aircel. In February, India’s biggest telco Bharti Airtel bought out the Indian operations of Norway’s Telenor. This was followed by Britain’s Vodafone announcing a merger with Aditya Birla Group’s Idea Cellular, to together become the biggest telecom company in India.
Reliance Jio, however, controls the highest chunk of 4G airwaves across India.