Reliance Jio is amping up its efforts to convert 2G customers into 4G users in the country. The leading telecom service provider is already planning to launch low cost 4G phones in partnership with Google in India. However, the telecom giant is yet to confirm a specific timeline for the arrival of such phones. Before the arrival of that device, the company has started selling “Jio exclusive” smartphones in the country.
The contracts of the existing JioPhone users in the country are going to expire in the coming months. With Jio exclusive, Reliance is creating a bridge for these customers. According to a report by Economic Times, Jio is planning to migrate the existing 4G feature phones to 4G smartphones through the “Jio exclusive” initiative. It also aims to add new subscribers by offering low-priced 4G smartphones to 2G users on Vodafone Idea’s and Bharti Airtel’s network.
More Jio exclusive phones likely to launch soon
Industry estimates revealed that around 20 to 25 million Jio 4G feature phone users are on the verge of renewing their contact in the next six months. In a bid to retain such customers, Reliance Jio has reportedly started selling “Jio exclusive” smartphones.
The telecom operator is in discussions with local smartphone brands like Lava, Karbonn Mobiles, and even Chinese smartphone OEMs like Vivo for similar arrangements. People who are familiar with the matter have revealed that Jio exclusive smartphones will cost around Rs 8,000 or lower. It was reported earlier that Jio could be teaming up with China-based iTel to sell 4G phones priced around Rs 4,000 in India.
Analysts are of the view that the new strategy by Reliance Jio will help in adding more subscribers. Jio is reportedly targeting its 4G smartphones to an estimated 350 million feature phone users in the country. Jio exclusive phones are expected to arrive with various benefits like discounts, OTT subscriptions and one-time screen replacement.
Earlier this week, Vivo announced the Vivo Y1s entry-level smartphone in India. Priced at Rs 7,990, the Y1s is a Jio exclusive phone meaning that the handset is locked with a Jio connection. The Helio P35 powered Vivo Y1s comes with a 10 percent benefit of up to Rs 799, shopping benefits worth Rs 4,550, a 90-day Shemaroo OTT subscription for Rs 99, and a one-time screen replacement for Rs 149 within six months of purchasing the Jio-locked device.
It appears that Reliance Jio will launch more Jio-locked 4G smartphones soon. Rival telecom operator Bharti Airtel is also said to be in plans to launch low priced 4G smartphones in partnership with Lava and Karbonn under the carrier subsidy model. Probably, the year 2021 will see the arrival of cheaper 4G smartphones in the Indian market.