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21 Jul 2017

Reliance Jio launches 'free' 4G VoLTE feature phone

Jio's new offer: 4G VoLTE phone

At its 40th AGM, Reliance launched its new 4G VoLTE feature phone at absolutely zero cost. Earlier, the price was rumored to be Rs. 500.

There will be a security deposit of Rs. 1,500, refundable for 36 months. An exclusive Rs. 153 monthly data plan will be offered.

The phone comes with NFC that facilitates secure mobile payments, like Apple Pay or Samsung Pay.

In context

Jio's new offer: 4G VoLTE phone
With this, the bloodbath in telecom likely to continue


With this, the bloodbath in telecom likely to continue

Since last September, the telecom industry has seen a brutal price war, with leading telcos dropping their rates drastically to match up to Jio's never-seen-before offers.

Now, with it having placed orders for 18-20mn of these new 4G VoLTE feature phones with some Chinese device manufacturers, the market bloodbath is likely to continue.

Shipping will start in July last or August beginning, sources say.


Jio has maintained its lead in the telecom market

In plus points for Jio, no rival has commercially launched VoLTE services, though trials are happening.

According to Sharma, the launched will happen "any time from now" if the target is urban low-end consumers.

However, with the farming sector associated with seasonal cash flows in October and February, this might not be an optimum time for the rural market, Sharma adds.

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So when can we expect the new phone?

Jio is expected to combine the to-be-launched handset with an announcement on a new tariff plan; its 84-day Dhan Dhana Dhan offer is nearing end. An announcement about the phone is expected at Reliance Industries' AGM on July 21. An August 15 launch is rumored.

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