As the launch of Reliance Jio's digital broadband telecom service draws closer, its sister concern Reliance Retail has got into overdrive to ensure supply of affordable 4G enabled handsets for the Jio’s customers.
Both Jio and Reliance Retail are parts of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL). A top Jio official said that Reliance Retail has initiated talks with mobile handset manufacturers to source and supply handsets at different price points so that Jio’s customer get access to 4G services that would be launched by December this year.
Globally there are about four or five companies, which manufacture mobile devices for all brands, and Reliance Retail is talking to them to procure 4G LTE smartphones in bulk to get better pricing. The handsets will be branded as Reconnect, the house brand of Reliance Digital, which is one of the fastest growing businesses of Reliance Retail. Reliance Digital has over 100 products such as power banks, bluetooth device sold under the Reconnect house brand and efforts are on to add more products, a senior Reliance Retail official said. The handsets could be offered along with the subscription of 4G services of Jio or sold independently through finance schemes.
Reliance Digital has over 1200 outlets across India including those of Reliance Digital Express and Reliance Mini Express stores, which will sell these smartphones. The devices could be priced below Rs.4,000 and broadband service can be accessed with a monthly fee of as low as Rs.300 to Rs.500. Jio has already laid an extensive network across the country to provide its service in 18,000 cities and towns in India. It has set up thousands of telecom towers, laid an extensive fibre optic network, invested over Rs.30,000 crore in spectrum and has tied up with companies like Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications and Bharti Airtel to provide high speed data connectivity offering a host of services.