Reliance Industries launched 4G services under the brand name Jio. The services complete run on 4G data and even the voice calling is done via VoLTE. This makes it little hard for the company to reach every house in the country as most of the people still do not own a 4G phone. Maximum of them even cannot afford one. The minimum price of a 4G smartphone that is available in the market is around Rs.3000/- which is equal to a week’s pay for many households in India.
A few days back, Reliance announced that they are working on feature phone based on the 4G technology. They are trying to find a way out to incorporate 4G VoLTE in feature phones. The company has now announced that the feature phone will be launched very soon. The expected price of the feature phone with 4G VoLTE capabilities will be somewhere between Rs.1000/- and Rs.1500/-.
There is still a lot of potential in the market
The customer base which does not have a smartphone or even a feature phone is very huge. The number of feature phones in India is almost double the number of smartphones. Most of the customers own phone just to make sure they can stay in contact with their families. The new phone by Jio will allow them to use the 4G connectivity on the feature phone and more over the phone will also be able to access the Internet. It is still not clear that if the user will be able to use the phone as a hotspot to share internet connection or not.
Jio sees a lot of potential in rural areas. This is the reason it is working on the feature phone by its own brand name Lyf. According to the recent IDC’s Q3 report the shipment of smartphones to India have increased by 24.8 percent. The rollout of Reliance Jio has increased the number of 4G phones by a huge margin. At the moment, every 7 out of 10 smartphones shipped to India is a 4G phone. The report also said that every 9 out of 10 phones sold online were 4G phones.
The present position for Jio
At the moment, Reliance is at the fifth position is Indian mobile market with a share of 7 percent. The numbers are expected to grow in next few months. At the moment, the company is missing a significant number of users just because of lack of feature phone based on 4G technology in the market. According to the reports, 40 million feature phones were sold in Q3 in India. This is around 18% of the market share. Reliance can make a lot of new customers by launching a 4G feature phone.
If Reliance offers free calling with the feature phone as well, the company can tap a lot of new customers in a very short period of time. The customers who use feature phones often look for better calling plans and maximum possible coverage. Reliance Jio has already covered most of the areas in all 22 circles, and the services will get better with time.