At the ongoing Indian Mobile Congress 2020, Mukesh Ambani-led telco Jio announced that it will rollout 5G connectivity in the first half of 2021. At the same event, the telecom operator also confirmed that it has formed a partnership with Realme to work towards a common goal. The Jio-Realme partnership in India is intended to bring down the pricing of 4G and other connected devices.
The news comes from Jio’s president for devices and mobility, Sunil Dutt. The top executive mentioned that the telco is also working with other brands apart from Realme to work towards reducing the price of 4G devices. Jio was the first to make 4G accessible to everyone with the launch of its JioPhones feature phones. Now, the telco seems to be working towards making smartphones cheaper.
Jio and Realme will work together to bring down prices of 4G smartphones
Jio has always been vocal about transitioning 2G users in the country to 4G network. The telco managed to achieve the goal to a large extent with its JioPhone series of feature phones. India had the highest 4G availability in South Asia in Q3 2020 with 93.7 per cent tested locations showing 4G availability. Now, with its partnership with Realme, the telecom operator is planning to bring down the prices of 4G smartphones as well.
Dutt revealed that Jio will not just limit itself to smartphones but also work towards making other connected devices more affordable. He said, “Reliance as an organisation…we have done in the past for 4G where benefits of connectivity were made far more affordable through JioPhones. On the other 4G devices, we are working with Realme and other organisations to try and make devices more affordable for people.”
Notably, Jio is the only 4G-exclusive telco in the country and we can see why the Mukesh Ambani-led telco has been pushing for a 2G-free India. On the other hand, Airtel and Vi had 51 percent and 63 percent of their user base still on the 2G/3G network as of October 2020. If Jio works aggressively towards reducing the price of 4G devices in partnership with Realme and other brands, it spells trouble for its competitors.