In what can usher in another revolution, Reliance Jio is planning to launch a 5G smartphone for less than ₹5,000 and gradually reduce the price to ₹2,500-3,000 a unit when operation can be scaled up, as per a company official.
The company looks to target 20-30 crore mobile phone users who use 2G connection at present. “Jio wants to bring the device for less than ₹5,000. When we scale up the sales, it can be priced in the range of ₹2,500-3,000,” a company official was as quoted by PTI.
An email query sent to Reliance Jio has not yet elicited any response. As things stand right now, 5G smartphones will be available in India in the price range starting from ₹27,000. Jio was the first company to have launched 4G mobile phones in India free for consumers where they were required to pay a refundable deposit of ₹1,500 for a Jio Phone.
Earlier, addressing the 43rd Annual General meeting, Reliance Industries Chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani had spoken about the vision to make India “2G-mukt” (free of 2G connections) and even emphasised on the need to accelerate migration of 350 million Indians who are currently using 2G feature phone to an affordable smartphone. This comes at a time when India stands at the doorsteps of the 5G era.
Ambani had also announced ₹33,737 crore investment by Google for a 7.7 per cent stake in Jio Platforms. He said that Jio will partner with the US tech giant in order to build an Android-based smartphone operating system.
The company has been working on its own 5G network equipment and has asked the Department of Telecom to allocate it spectrum for testing before exporting these products.
At present, India does not have 5G services and the government has not yet allocated spectrum to telecom operators for running field trials which will be aimed at promoting domestic ecosystem for the next generation technology.