Jio collaborats with Nokia and other companies to make 4G mobile technology affordable

Reliance Jio, a leading telecom company in India, has partnered with feature phone manufacturers such as Itel, Lava, and Nokia to develop affordable Jio Bharat 4G devices. The company aims to encourage 250 million 2G users to switch to 4G technology. In addition to this, Reliance Jio is planning to launch an upgraded version of its Rs. 999 4G phone, which will support UPI payments, WhatsApp, and live TV streaming. Jio's devices division president, Sunil Dutt, stated that all brands are in touch with them to ensure that the product is successful in the market and in the minds of consumers.

Dutt is an industry veteran who has led companies such as HP and Blackberry. According to him, a typical 2G user finds it difficult to use a smartphone as it is expensive and prone to malfunctions. The biggest factor in this regard is affordability, and Jio has made a new push into the feature phone market to lower the cost of ownership. Jio Bharat phones come with special 4G monthly plans that are priced much lower than those of their competitors. Dutt says that this is the most exploited customer, and unfortunately, even Jio's competitors have no sense of regret in exploiting them. Dutt further added that Jio's competitors charge Rs 180 to this customer and give them 2GB of data, which, on a 2G network, a customer cannot even consume efficiently.

Featurephone hardware is standardized, but there is a lack of content that customers can consume on it. Jio is offering live TV with over 450 channels, the latest films, thousands of songs, IPL streaming, and a plethora of other content for 30% less than the market price. Additionally, Jio has introduced UPI payments with a scan-and-pay option, eliminating the need for merchants to pay additional rentals for the sound box as it's already included in the Jio Bharat phones. The Jio Bharat platform currently has four models, and more are planned for later this year. Jio is already finalizing the range of phones that will be available in the next fiscal year, which could come in different sizes, form factors, or colors.

The Jio Bharat platform aims to transition 2G users into the 4G ecosystem, but 5G is also a priority area for Jio, not just a backup option. However, smartphone brands haven't been able to produce devices at the sub-Rs 10,000 price point to drive volumes, according to a Jio executive. The executive added that many smartphone brands have been dealing with different issues that have clouded their priorities. Nevertheless, Jio is now collaborating with these brands to ensure great 5G experiences for customers. Additionally, Jio is helping these brands implement the standalone stack on their devices. The focus is on how to work together to bring better value propositions for customers.