A competitive plan from rival telecom networks can go up to Rs 5,000, Jio said.
The digital building blocks are in place for Jio, although markets await more traction.
Reliance Jio on Friday said it will roll out a new offer for new and existing JioPhone customers from March 1. The JioPhone 2021 offer will give them access to up to two years of ‘unlimited’ services in the form of voice calls and data benefits plus a new JioPhone handset at a price of Rs 1,999. Jio said that existing feature phone users in India continue to be overcharged with a competitive plan from rival telecom networks going for as much as Rs 5,000.
Jio is broadly launching two types of bundles for new JioPhone customers. The first one comes with a validity of two years or 24 months. By paying a sum of Rs 1,999, new JioPhone customers will get a JioPhone feature phone along with unlimited voice calls and 2GB 4G data every month. The other bundle will have a validity of one year or 12 months. By paying a sum of Rs 1,499, new JioPhone customers will get a JioPhone feature phone along with unlimited voice calls and 2GB 4G data every month.
For existing JioPhone customers, Jio will be offering 12 months of unlimited service (unlimited voice calls and 2GB 4G data every month) at a fixed price of Rs 749.
Jio said the company has upgraded more than 100 million users onto the JioPhone platform and with the new JioPhone 2021 offer it is making the JioPhone and its services accessible to the 300 million feature phone users.
A JioPhone, unlike a majority of other feature phones, runs 4G and can access the internet. You can also download and install apps on a JioPhone, something that you can’t do on an average feature phone. This is because unlike most feature phones, a JioPhone runs KaiOS software that’s a custom fork of Firefox OS — an open-source operating system based on Linux, the same technology that drives Android. Google apps and services are available on the JioPhone, so are WhatsApp and Facebook.
The original JioPhone was launched in 2017. Jio followed that up with the JioPhone 2 that came with an upgraded design with a QWERTY keyboard. The JioPhone 2 also introduced dual-SIM support. The JioPhone 2021 offer, as the name suggests, applies to the first-generation JioPhone. Jio is also working with Google on low-cost smartphones running a localised version of Android software though there is no word about their possible launch window.