After free data, Reliance now announces 'free' Smartphones

JioFiber broadband or Rs 500 4G phone What will Reliance Industries announce on July 21

The company has christened the handset "Jio Phone".

"We do not see Jio being able to penetrate the mass market with the announced offer, as we see the monthly price of Rs 153 and Rs 1,500 initial deposit as still being steep for the low income consumers", said Bank of America Merrill Lynch in its report on Friday. "TV would also hurt the cable TV industry", said Nitasha Shankar, Sr Vice President and Head of Research, YES Securities.

Group Chairman Mukesh Ambani announced the launch of Jio 4G feature phone at an effective price of Rs 0.

He said customers would only have to pay a deposit of 1,500 rupees ($23.32) for the 4G-enabled device, which would be fully refundable after three years. Another plan is for 309 INR per month in which customers will get free calls, data, SMS and support for mirroring your phones screen on a TV using Jio Cable.

Reliance Jio is expected to go for the disruptive pricing model, just like it did with the Jio network and now the JioPhone.

India's disruptive new telecom entrant Reliance Jio, backed by the country's richest man Mukesh Ambani, unveiled a low-priced 4G-enabled phone on Friday to woo tens of millions of new clients, further destabilizing legacy telecom players.

Currently, there are no feature phones in the market, which support 4G services, including voice telephony. The two features sets the new JioPhone apart from any other feature phone in the market. The company could ask for a security deposit of Rs 4,500 for its JioFiber broadband service, as a refundable amount.

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The JioPhone will be available from September and the pre-booking will start from August 24.

"Further, in our view maintaining of the Rs 153 per month ARPU (average revenue per unit) will be positive for incumbents (same effective monthly price to now active plan of Rs 309 for two months)". Interested Jio users can pre-book their phones starting 24 August.

"These offices will service our sales channel partners and over 10 lakh physical retail outlets that sell Jio services". Having now signed up about 125 million customers, RJio is looking at ways to get to the next 100 million. Since its launch 10 months back Jio has added seven customers per second on an average.

"This was the fastest adoption of any technology service, anywhere in the world".

From 3,500 employees in 1997, RIL now has a total staff strength of 250,000 worldwide, Ambani added. "There will be a fair usage policy of half a gigabyte per day, to ensure that bandwidth is fairly apportioned for every user", said Ambani.

At the AGM, Ambani also said that RIL's deal last month with British energy major BP on a joint investment of $6 billion across the entire energy value chain in India was a major highlight of RIL's oil and gas business. "Majority have recharged on Jio's Rs 309 or higher plans", he added.

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