Reliance Jio’s attempts to disrupt the handset segment with low-cost 4G-enabled feature phones appears to be moving ahead at a brisk pace. Having stirred up a storm in the telecom industry with its low mobile data and free voice calling services, the Mukesh Ambani-owned firm now wants to rope in new users through an affordable 4G-enabled feature phone.
According to India TV, the Mumbai-headquartered firm is learnt to have signed up Intex as a vendor to assemble its 4G VoLTE feature phone.
Intex is set to begin production from next month and the ‘ Made in India’ devices will be priced by Jio through a subsidy model. Besides, the new telco will also manage the marketing of the handsets. Reports had it that Jio’s new 4G feature phone will be priced as low as Rs 500, a markdown from the Rs 1,000-Rs 1,500 range speculated earlier.
Nidhi Markanday, director and business head, Intex Technologies, informed that the handset maker will have no say in both the aspects.
Jio’s 4G feature phones will serve two purposes. One, it will help the new entrant regain momentum in terms of bringing in more subscribers into its fold. While its entry sparked a euphoria in the telecom market, the lack of availability of 4G-capable phones at prices that masses can afford has slowed down its growth in subscribers. The company has registered over 112 million subscribers as of April 2017.