Reliance Jio is expected to launch a new 4G VoLTE handset just at the cost of Rs 500 by the end of the month, reports quoting analysts claimed.
According to an Economic Times (ET) report, Reliance Jio, a subsidiary of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries (RIL), may announce the phone at its annual general meeting scheduled on July 21.
The launch of the new handset might come as part of a new tariff plan close to the lapse of the 84-day Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan offer announced on April 11, sources in the know were quoted as saying.
“Jio is likely to price its 4G feature phone “at a paltry Rs 500 (sub-$8) to lure 2G subscribers to directly switch to 4G”, which implies “Jio subsidising each handset by as much as $10-15 (Rs 650-975)”, Rajiv Sharma, HSBC director and telecoms analyst, was quoted as saying.
Experts also said that the move will increase market opportunity for Jio as it is restricted by limited affordable 4G handsets being sold. Other experts said that aggressive tariff offers, low costing 4G enabled feature phones will accelerate subscriber numbers for Jio.
“This launch can create the next wave of disruption in the telecom market,” ET quoted a top executive of one of the leading telcos.
“Not just us, but the existing players could surely lose a chunk of their low-end voice customers — most of whom are pre-paid – once this 4G feature phone is launched,” he added.
Another analyst who didn’t wish to be named said that the company may try to touch lower prices for the handsets.
Under the Dhan Dhana Dhan plan, Jio currently offers unlimited SMS and access to Jio apps, and 1 or 2 GB of daily data for a one-time payment of Rs 309 or Rs 509 respectively. Jio has 112.55 million subscribers as of April 2017.