Reliance Jio, which has shaken the telecom sector with its free voice calls and low-cost data services, is now eyeing the entry-level mobile handset market with its JioPhone. The company has planned to offer JioPhone for a deposit of Rs 1,500, which will be refunded back to the users while they return the handset after 3 years. The phone is effectively free and comes bundled with a Rs 153 plan. JioPhone will be available for beta testing from August 15 while the actual bookings will start from August 24. Those who have pre-booked the phone will start getting it by September on a first-come-first-served basis.
JioPhone Bookings: Users can go to the Jio's website and register themselves online through the "Keep me posted" link. Registration can be done for both individuals and businesses. Users need to check the MyJio app on August 24. Those who want to buy the phone offline, should head to a Jio retailer on August 24.
For businesses, PAN or GSTN and quantity of the handsets required along with the contact details need to be submitted for pre-booking the JioPhone.
Features: JioPhone comes with an alphanumeric keypad, 2.4-inch QVGA display, microSD card slot, torchlight, FM radio.
Analysts also expect other operators to take cue from JioPhone and launch 4G feature phones in association with handset makers. AK Prabhakar, head of research at IDBI Capital Market, had told NDTV earlier that JioPhone will help Jio penetrate deeper into Indian markets. Other telecom operators could also follow the JioPhone model and launch such low-cost handsets in association with handset manufacturers, he said. "That is very good for the market. The telecom companies can bring handset costs down."
Jio has again topped the charts again as the fastest 4G services provider by registering average download speed of over 18 megabit per second in June, as per data published by telecom regulator TRAI. Jio has been recording highest speed since the past seven months. With JioPhone, the company will be expecting to further increase its user base. It aims to deliver 5 million units of the phone each week.