Reliance Jio To Bring 4G Feature Phones For Rs 1500

More shocking news from Reliance Jio! After making dents on the revenues of operators as well as smartphone companies by offering free voice calls and sub Rs 3000 4G smartphones respectively, the firm is now planning to launch 4G feature phones.

The planned 4G feature phones are touted to be the cheapest 4G phones in the world, and may cost between Rs 1000 to Rs 1500, two insiders said. However, it has not been officially confirmed by the company till the story went online.

The objective of bringing 4G feature phones is to offer VoLTE capability in the low-cost phones. These phones will have VoLTE capability so that the users can make free voice calls, the main priority of that kind of user, and the most lucrative offer from Jio.

Though a final name has not yet been assigned to the 4G feature phone, the insiders said it will come under the LYF brand and the product team calls the 4G feature phone as ‘LYF Easy’.

The LYF Easy 4G feature phones will be launched in the first week of January 2017, immediately after the end of the Jio Welcome Offer, that ends 31 December.

The 4G feature phones are aimed at the first time data users from the rural areas who still find a phone that costs more than Rs 2000 very expensive.

In India feature phones still contribute close to 70% of phone sales and the price starts from Rs 500 and goes upto Rs 4000. However, 80% of the feature phones of below Rs 2000 are not capable of anything beyond voice calls and text messages.

Reliance Jio that had made an ambitious entry to the Indian telecom space with pan-India 4G service offerings and investment of close to Rs2,00,000 lakh crore, would like to tap this market, as it can not solely rely on just smartphones for its business that is based on data consumption.

“This is being built to bring every one to 4G network, irrespective of the cost of the device,” a source who is a part of the development team said.

The biggest deterrent for data consumption is the lack of an access device, and affordability is the prime reason why 70% of Indians still buying feature phones. With the launch of features phones that are 4G compatible can surely change the dynamics of data business for operators. The 4G feature phone is a step in the right direction.

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