Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular operated like a Big Lobby of GSM Wireless service providers without much focus on the market nor offerings. I’ll discuss this in detail on how Airtel and Idea Cellular miserably failed to innovate and take the first mover advantage in my next article. Currently at least 50% of A-Vo-ID Operators subscriber base is still plain vanilla 2G Voice and today Jio is unable to target them with 4G VoLTE. However with a low cost 4G feature phone, it can reach this segment of user to use it’s abundant spectrum.
Jio 4G – Basic / Feature Phone Pricing
Insider’s suggests Jio may price its feature phone anywhere between Rs 999 to 1,999. However, there are reports of a entry level phone at Rs 500, possibly to get the new 2G subscriber directly on 4G. Such pricing may imply subsidies around USD 10-15 per handset; Given its USD29bn investment so far in the telecom venture, this new 4G entrant would have any hesitation in doing so if they can think of regular ARPU from this customer.
Given Jio’s aspiration to own 50% of the market, it is a matter of time before it launches low-cost 4G feature phones in an attempt to expand 4G market. This may be the right move as competition is still catching up on 4G coverage and yet to deploy voice over LTE (VOLTE).