The long anticipated launch of Reliance Jio 4G LTE services is rumored to be set for early next month
Though Reliance Jio 4G has been secretive on the official date, recent rumors have suggested the operator will begin with a soft launch later this month followed by phase-wise roll out across the country up to December 2016. Reliance Jio 4G top executive said it will not compete on cost, but on quality of service. Everyone is trying to find out if Reliance Jio 4G will offer a cheaper price offering.
“We are not saying we will lower the price, but we will create a better experience,” Rainer Deutschmann, chief product and innovation officer, told ET, adding that if customers want true 4G experience, they would need devices built for it. “People are willing to pay for connectivity, but don’t like to pay if they don’t get an experience.”
But the delay in the launch of Jio’s services has meant that top operators such as Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea have not only expanded their 4G services across geographies but also lowered data prices to retain and attract new users, narrowing the scope for Jio to play the price game and churn users.
Jio’s plan comprises bringing the ecosystem up to speed. For that, it has tied up with several smartphone vendors to launch 4G handsets which would support the company’s network, besides launching its own smartphones under the LYF brand through Reliance Retail.
Ahead of the official launch, a video on YouTube posted by username ‘We love Jio’ is doing the rounds on the social networking site. The video offers a glimpse at what’s believed to be of the official Reliance Jio website, featuring data plans and services among other details. The data plan is most likely to be available with Mi-Fi devices.
According to reports, Reliance Jio 4G basic tariff for local and STD calls will start at 2p per second, Re 1 per SMS and international texts at Rs 5. 4G mobile data would be priced at 0.5p per 10KB, which is roughly Rs 5 per MB whereas video calls will cost 5p per second. It may also launch a family and friends basic and gold plan for Rs 37 and Rs 38.
According to the video, Reliance Jio LTE offerings will include VoLTE, Mi-Fi devices, routers and smartphones. The video also offers preview of the Jio data plans. A JioFi Combo plan gives 75GB of 4G data for 90 days while a HD Voice Combo plan offers 75GB of data, 4500 minutes of talk time, 9000 SMS with 90 days of validity. Pricing of these schemes haven’t been revealed in the video. According to a recent report, Reliance Jio is also likely to offer 40GB of data with validity 90 days. This suggests, Reliance Jio data plans may be available between 40GB and 75GB with three months of validity.
The video emphasizes preloaded applications — JioPlay, Jio-on-Demand, JioBeats, JioMags, JioNews, JioDrive and JioExpressnews. These services are likely to be subscription based and likely to be free for the first 90 days. Also, these could be available as standalone applications for the iOS and Android platforms. The video doesn’t reveal the pricing of these services.
The JioPlay will allow users to stay up to date with their favorite TV programs. Ji calls the service as “Catch-Up TV.” The Jio on Demand is similar to the Eros Now and Hooq streaming service allowing users to watch movies, TV shows, trailers among others.
The JioBeats is similar to music streaming services like Wynk and Saavn whereas Jio Mags is a Flipboard-like service. According to the video, the JioBeats will have millions of HD songs in over 20 languages. It will be available as a standalone application for Android and iOS platforms.
JioDrive is the native service for cloud storage where users can store their photos, videos and documents. Jio will be offering 90 days of access to JioDrive with 101GB of cloud storage. The Jio Money also features in the video revealing that its similarities with other wallet services that allow users to pay to merchants as well as pay utility bills.