Reliance Jio was launched last year in September and the company introduced a new 4G age in the country. Though most of the major telecom operators were offering 4G, the prices and data offered were still out of bounds for many. However, one major reason why 4G has still not reached the last mile is because of the high prices of 4G smartphones.
Now, Reliance Infocomm is planning to facilitate that too. In January this year, we reported that the company might be working on 4G feature phones at ultra-cheap pricing. Now, a new report by The Economic Times has revealed that the company is in talks with chipset manufacturer Spreadtrum Communications to build 4G feature phones at a price of Rs 1,500.
Previously, Reliance Jio has worked with the same company to offer its affordable LYF Flame 5 smartphone which was made available at a price of Rs 4,999. Spreadtrum Communications has been working with Reliance Infocomm since two years and the company has reported that they are working on reducing the prices of 4G phones by half. In the current market for 4G phones, the cheapest devices are selling at a minimum price of Rs 3,000.
If Reliance is able to bring down the 4G feature phone rates up to Rs 1,500, the telecom industry's reach might expand further within the country. The Indian phone user base is still governed by feature-phone users. Despite the smartphone revolution in the past couple of years, 65 per cent of phone users are still sticking to feature phones as their daily drivers.
The primary usage of feature-phone users is voice calls and if the new telecom company is able to deliver that at negligible to no price, along with added benefits like video calls, it can provide a tremendous surge in sales of these low-priced devices.