Reliance Jio Lyf Mobiles Unable to Shake the Market

Jio LyfReliance Jio Infocomm is yet to commercially launch service after 6 years of acquiring 2300Mhz spectrum in June 2010. As the company is now looking to integrate Reliance Communications’ 850Mhz spectrum as a part of its network offering, we expect commercial launch to take approximately 6 more months.

In the interim, JIO has launched a wide range of LTE devices under its LYF brand name starting at a price band of INR3,999-5,499 for LYF Flame. In the mid-range RJIO has Wind phones which is in price band of INR6,499-6,799. In the more than INR10,000 range, JIO has LYF Water and LYF Earth phones.

Our consumer interactions indicate that the LYF devices do not have any meaningful differentiation compared to other devices available in the market. Currently, the selling point is restricted to the free voice and data that is being bundled along with the device. Before the launch of LYF Mobiles there were expectations of Jio being disruptive on the device side. However, we do not see that to be the case so far.

Further discussion with some distributors indicated that the customer interest is primarily in the free data offer with Lyf Mobiles. Customers are able to get good speeds even after connecting multiple devices with a LYF phone. However on the voice side there are issues such as heating of the device, problem connecting calls and lack of mobile number portability. Thus unless the voice offering is improved RJIO SIM could be primarily used for cheaper data and might not be able to replace the existing operators.

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