Reliance Jio is in the headlines since September 2016 as the company created a disruption in the telecom sector with its free and unlimited 4G service under the Welcome Offer. Following suit is the company's low-cost 4G VoLTE feature phone that will be a game-changer in the feature phone market.
The feature phones with 4G VoLTE support that Reliance Jio Infocomm is likely to launch in the first quarter of this year is believed to be used by many as these handsets are to be priced at Rs. 999 and Rs. 1,500 as these phones will offer free calls.
One way, these features might create the same impact that Reliance left in the Indian mobile space in 2001 with its Rs. 501 priced mobile phones that offered free and unlimited calls and messages. Notably, the cheapest VoLTE smartphones in the country are priced from Rs. 3,000 giving a chance for these feature phones from Jio a better chance to create an impact in the market.
Given the fact that around 65% of the one billion mobile phone users in India still use feature phones, the 4G VoLTE feature phones will surely drive the usage of such handsets further. Moreover, it is claimed that the VoLTE feature phones from Jio will have both front and rear cameras and will be bundled with the MyJio suite of apps such as Live TV, Jio Chat, Jio Wallet, and video-on-demand.
Reliance Jio is likely in talks with the chip makers such as Qualcomm and MediaTek for its feature phones with VoLTE support. Also, the company is reported to source chipsets from the Chinese manufacturer Spreadtrum.