Reliance Jio has made an attractive offer to railway staffers, mainly junior grade employees who use feature phones, to shift to its 4G feature phone — JioPhone.
According to the offer, if railway employees want to get a JioPhone for their own use all they need to do is pay upfront Rs 600. The requirement of giving any old feature phone in exchange has been set aside for them. The employees also need not pay `594 as upfront recharge amount (@`99 per month) valid for six months.
In case railway employees want to get the JioPhone for their dependent parents, spouse, or children, the requirement of giving an old feature phone in exchange will be set aside but they will have to pay Rs 1,095 upfront. Of this, Rs 501 will be the cost of the phone and `594 will be the recharge amount (@`99 per month) valid for six months.
The general scheme for JioPhones is that a consumer needs to give an old feature phone in exchange plus Rs 501 as price for the phone and Rs 594 for recharge amount valid for six months.
Sources said in case of railway employees buying the phone for their own use, the mandatory recharge fee has been waived because employees get phone reimbursement allowance according to their rank which will get transferred to Jio as part of the closed user group (CUG) scheme.
While voice will be free, which is part of Jio’s tariff policy, data limits will be provided as per rank of the employees.
JioPhone was first launched in October 2017 against a payment of `1,500 which was refundable security after three years. Till June 2018, around 25 million handsets were sold, which was not seen as very high by analysts. In June this year, the company came with a new offer of `501 along with giving an old feature phone in exchange plus six months recharge @`99 per month. This made effective cost for consumers at `1,095. Since then, the phone has been sold well, taking the total number upward 46 million.
The sales have come mostly from C-category circles like Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Assam, North-East, and Jammu and Kashmir, where incumbent operators like Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea do not have a good 4G network coverage till date.
Even if they provide some 4G coverage, they have not subsidised any 4G handset in a manner Jio has done so to feature phone users, who total around 500 million in the country.