To counter Reliance Jio's, JioPhone, India's third largest telecom operator Idea Cellular is also planning to launch a new phone in the market. The phone is said to be priced starting at Rs. 2,500.
According to the report in PTI, Himanshu Kapania, the Managing Director of Idea Cellular Limited, has said, "The practical solution that we are working on is to work with the handset industry and work with them to be able to bring down cost of handsets by bringing down the bill of material, so that the gap of the announced price of Jio feature phone versus a smartphone can be brought down to reasonable levels."
He did reveal that the ideal price point for a handset would be Rs. 2,500.
While Idea is gearing up to launch a new phone in the market, the company is also planning to launch its voice over LTE (VoLTE) services on its 4G LTE network by early calendar year 2018. All in all, it looks like the company is gearing up to compete strongly with Reliance Jio who is currently offering the VoLTE or Voice over LTE networks in the country. Jio has been providing free calls to its customers using this network.
To recall, Idea Cellular has reported a loss of Rs 815.9 crore in the first quarter ended June 30, impacted by sustained pressure from disruptive tariffs of a new operator. "The upheaval in the Indian wireless industry continued in Q1FY18, despite the new entrant slowly migrating from 'Free Services' to 'Paid Services' but with heavily discounted unlimited voice and data pricing plans," the company said.
The telco also said that Mobile data volume witnessed a meteoric growth of 99.1 percent on a sequential quarterly basis as Idea's large Pan India network, primarily its Wireless Broadband Network, carried 252.8 billion Mega Bytes in Q1FY18, nearly double the traffic consumption in Q4FY17. However, the mobile data rate (ARMB) saw an unprecedented decline of 52.9 percent, reaching to as low as 5.4 paise/MB (vs. 11.5 paise in Q4FY17).
So considering all these, Idea is surely changing its strategy for the days ahead and the company wants to do well in the coming quarters.