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Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Jul 5, 2017

Jio 4G VoLTE phone priced at Rs. 500 may launch soon

Reliance Jio is likely to announce the cheapest of them all, 4G VoLTE phone priced just at Rs. 500 by the end of this month - says report published in ET-Telecom. The price tag of Rs. 500 could bring another big disruption in the 4G phone markets, estimates HSBC. It's expected that Reliance boss Mukesh Ambani will make the announcement after the Reliance AGM scheduled on July 21. There's a rumour in the market that Reliance will announce another round of disruptive plans after its 84-day Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan offer concludes.

Mr. Rajiv Sharma, director and telecom analyst at HSBC said that Reliance would want to attract the existing 2G phone users and convert them into 4G data consumers. Jio would do that by subsidising the handset prices by $10 - $15 and finally offering the phones for as low as Rs. 500. These phones will be VoLTE capable.

Jio would want to go bullish in the markets with cheap 4G phones and equally aggressive tariff plans to increase their market share. In the last few months, Jio has been able to eat into rivals market share leading to heavy losses for Airtel, Idea and Vodafone.

Jio-4G-VoLTE-phone-Rs-500

Jio claimed a world record by adding millions of subscribers in shortest time. After a super speedy start, Jio's growth seems to have slowed down. One of the primary reason for the slowdown could be the limited number of 4G handsets in the market. For Jio to attract more consumers to their network, it's essential that there are cheap phones in the market so that more people can afford them. Jio would be targeting several million new subscribers who're currently using 2G and 3G networks.

Top executives in the telecom domain already see this move as another disruption in the telecom market. Existing players are likely to lose a large number of voice customers; mostly the pre-paid subscribers. It's important to note that Jio is the only telecom operator in India which a pan India 4G VoLTE (Voice over LTE) network license. It's top rival is still conducting VoLTE trials in India; but has not launched it commercially.

We learn that Jio's going to be very aggressive in flooding the market with cheap 4G devices. It seems to have placed orders for about 20 million 4G VoLTE capable feature phones with Chinese OEMs. Those who are aware of the development believe that the shipments of these phones would begin arriving in India towards end of July.

Source: ET

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