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Reliance Jio to launch 4G mobile phones at Rs 1000

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CIOL-Reliance Jio wants to know how many people are interested in its free phone

Reliance Jio is back to disrupt the mobile market again. After launching 4G offers with unlimited video and voice calling, the Mukesh Ambani-owned company is planning to launch 4G compatible feature phones itself with unlimited voice calls and video calling.

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The prices of these devices could be as low as about Rs 1,000.

Read more here: Reliance Jio launches 4G mobile phone at an effective price of Rs 0

In a bid to tap the rural and tier-III markets for its data services and mobile business, the new phones will come with voice over LTE (VoLTE) technology which will enable the 4G services in feature phones.

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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 spokesperson told ET.

The company is also reportedly working with mobile maker Lava International and Chinese original equipment makers to manufacture these feature phones. According to GadgetsNow report, "Jio is said to be subsidizing part of the selling price to make the 4G feature phones available at about Rs 1,000. The cost of making the phones is about Rs 1,500 and they are usually sold for about Rs 2,500."

Aiming the first-time data users, the devices will function just like smartphones but without a touchscreen. The spokesperson further said, "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. The 2G feature phone is still a big market in India."

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Nearly 65 percent of India's more than 1 billion mobile phone subscribers still use 2G feature phones.

As Reliance Jio is targeting 250 million subscriber’s base in the shortest time, tapping the rural areas and tier-III cities is one of the important steps for the company.

It will be interesting to see the after-effects of such feature phones, as they are bound to affect other mobile makers and telcos in the market.

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