Reliance Jio is set to announce an affordable and enhanced version of ₹999-priced 4G Jio Bharat phones with features like WhatsApp, live TV streaming and UPI payments.
Reliance Jio’s president (devices division) Sunil Dutt told Economic Times that the telecom giant is working with mobile phone brands like Nokia, Lava and Transsion’s Itel to develop own versions of the smartphone. The move is seen as part of the company’s vision to push 250 million 2G users to go 4G and beyond.
Dutt said that the company wants to establish the product both in the market and in the minds of the consumer. He added that a 2G user is not comfortable using a smartphone as he/she finds it expensive and prone to malfunction. According to him, affordability is the biggest factor and Jio’s push is being carried out to decrease the cost of ownership.
Reliance Jio is giving features like live TV with more than 450 channels, latest films, thousands of songs, IPL streaming and other content at a 30 per cent lower price. Dutt said that Jio has introduced UPI payments with a scan-and-pay option.
Jio Bharat platform has four models and more are planned at the end of this year. Dutt said that 5G rollout is a priority area and not a backup option. But according to him, the device ecosystem has been unable to break into the ₹10,000 price to drive volumes.
Last month, Reliance Jio had introduced a new 4G phone, the JioBharat B1. The phone worth ₹1,299 on the company’s official website has a 2.4-inch screen and 2000 mAh battery.
It has pre-installed Jio apps for enjoying movies, videos, and sports highlights. The phone upports 23 Indian languages and offers JioPay app for UPI payments.
The other phones introduced by Jio include Jio Phone, Jio Phone 2, Jio Phone Next, Jio Bharat V2 and K1 Karbonn.