Reliance Jio is going to disrupt the market again; will launch 4G feature phones with unlimited voice calls

Reliance Jio is going to disrupt the market again; will launch 4G feature phones with unlimited voice callsAfter bringing 4G plans for smartphone users at dirt cheap prices, Mukesh Ambani is now going to do something which will take the competition in telecom sector to new heights.

Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio is now going to launch 4G compatible feature phones with unlimited voice calls and video calling.

The feature phones will have voice over LTE (VoLTE), which is necessary for 4G services to run.

The devices are expected to be priced below Rs 1000 and this move will attract millions of users from the rural and tier-III markets who use phones mainly to make calls.

"Jio wants to tap all the segments in the country and sees huge potential in the rural areas, which it now aims to tap with VoLTE feature phones,” ET quoted people as saying.


The 2G feature phone is still a big market in India as nearly 65% of India's more than 1 billion mobile phone subscribers still use feature phones.

“Reliance is developing two feature phones priced at about Rs 1,000 and Rs 1,500 that are likely be launched during January-March,” a person told ET, asking not to be identified. The devices will function just like smartphones and will include the use of data to access the Internet and make calls - the only thing missing will be the touchscreen.

"If Jio launches VoLTE feature phones at Rs 1,000, it can potentially shake up the market because the target audience in that segment may prefer to choose phones with free calling inbuilt,” Navkendar Singh, a senior research manager with International Data Corp, told ET.

The VoLTE feature phones will have a keypad, front-facing and rear cameras and will run on the Android operating system. These devices will be equipped with Jio's content applications such as Jio Chat, Live TV and video on demand.

The capability to make VoLTE calls in these feature phones will be enabled by chipsets, which Jio plans to source from Chinese company Spreadtrum.