Jio VoLTE Basic Feature Phones for Rural India with 2G Coverage

Reliance Jio was able to acquire 800MHz spectrum in 13 of India’s 22 circles. It is yet to orient this network for rural coverage. The company also signed spectrum sharing and spectrum trading agreements with Reliance Communications to complete pan-India 800MHz spectrum footprint. Jio is awaiting clearance from the Competition Commission of India.

Jio plans to roll out 4G VoLTE-enabled feature phones at Rs 999- 1,800. Insiders report indicate the following about Jio’s 4G feature phones. Jio is looking to launch two variants under the LYF brand. One with a Qualcomm 205 chip and another with Spreadtrum chip. The phone could have the following specifications – 2.4 inch display, 2 MP front and rear camera, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. It could have 512 MB of RAM, 4GB storage and a microSD slot for expansion of memory.

Rupee 1,000-1,200 is the sweet spot for pricing feature phones, lower than the currently landed price of ~ Rs2,000. If Jio were to subsidise handsets and give a lock-in then it would be challenging to attract subscribers, akin to challenges faced by Reliance in its CDMA launch in 2003. But you never know, in the days of Biometric Aadhar UIDAI infrastructure in place across India, borrowers will find it difficult to default like they did a decade ago 🙂

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