Idea to launch its own 4G phone to take on Jio phones

James Marshall
July 31, 2017

However, along with the announcement of their slightly expensive VoLTE handsets (Rs 2500, instead of Rs 1500 from Jio), Idea has also declared a proxy war against Jio, by accusing them of violating net neutrality principles by offering locked low cost 4G feature phones.

While the company now plans to sell only single SIM phones, there are talks that it could also bring dual SIM variant of the JioPhone to the market.

Adding further he said that it remains to be seen as to how the proposed Jio phone, which does not have features like a smartphone, serves those wanting to browse the Internet. The Idea Cellular Managing director Himanshu Kapania said the Idea Cellular wants to price it around Rs 2,500. For the telcos, bundled plans - where they sell handset along with voice and data plan - will help increase the average revenue per user over a longer term, he said. This new phone will provide all the choices required to users including choosing the operator. Reportedly, the company has partnered with Intex and several Chinese handset makers to manufacture the phone and now a report from The Mobile Indian states that company could initially push about 5 crores of phones in the market. Unlike the JioPhone, this device will be able to download popular applications like Facebook, WhatsApp and Google.

Himanshu Kapania said the Aditya Birla Group Company, is being combined with larger rival Vodafone.

Manufacturers noted that net neutrality is a very touchy subject when it came to telecom services worldwide and had snowballed into a major controversy in the a year ago.

The 4G-enable smart feature phone will offer free voice calls with a monthly cost of Rs 153 only. The company has continued to offer affordable data plans with 3 months validity, forcing incumbent operators to offer similar plans as well.

Himanshu Kapania said the Jio Phone comes with a smaller screen-size and not offer a touchscreen, new operating system.

"They (handset makers) believe the proposition will not be strong enough if there is no support from telecom operators".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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