The basic recharge plan for JioBharat phone users will begin at “Rs 123 per month for unlimited voice calls and 14 GB data”, as compared to “other operator’s Rs 179 plan for voice calls and 2 GB data”, Jio said.
Reliance Jio, the telecom arm of oil-to-retail conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd, on July 3 announced the launch of the internet-enabled ‘JioBharat’ phones, at a price of Rs 999.
This is the “lowest entry price for an internet-enabled phone”, Jio said in a release, adding that those buying the handset will be eligible for “30 percent cheaper monthly plan and 7 times more data compared to feature phone offerings of other operators”.
The basic recharge plan has been priced at Rs 123 per month for unlimited voice calls and 14 GB data, compared to other operators’ Rs 179 plan for voice calls and 2 GB data, Jio said.
The annual plan will levy a charge of Rs 1,234, and will include unlimited voice calls and 168 GB data (0.5 GB per day). This, the company said, is around 25 percent cheaper compared to other operators’ annual plan of Rs 1,799 for voice calls and 24 GB data.
The beta trial for the first 10 lakh JioBharat phones will begin from July 7, and will be carried out in 6,500 tehsils across the country, as per the release.
“The JioBharat platform leverages device and network capabilities to deliver internet-enabled services on entry-level phones”, the company said. Besides Reliance Retail, other phone brands, starting with Karbonn will adopt the platform to “build JioBharat phones”, it added.
Jio further noted that the company’s target is to provide the internet-enabled JioBharat phones to the nearly 250 million people in India who are still using the only 2G-enabled feature phones.
“There are still 250 million mobile phone users in India who remain ‘trapped’ in the 2G era, unable to tap into basic features of the internet at a time when the world stands at the cusp of a 5G revolution,” Reliance Jio
Chairman Akash Ambani said.
“Six years ago, when Jio was launched, we made it clear that Jio will leave no stone unturned to democratise internet and pass the benefits of technology to every Indian. Technology will no longer remain a privilege for a select few. The new JioBharat phone is another step in that direction. It is at the centre of innovation, and it continues to demonstrate our focus on bringing disproportionate and true value for different segments of users with meaningful, real-life use cases,” Ambani added.
JioBharat phone features
The V2 phone has a 1.77-inch QVGA TFT display and also offers a removable 1000mAh battery. As expected, the phone will be locked to the Jio network, which means the users will need a Jio SIM in the tray to use it.
Besides this, the users will get the usual assortment of feature phone staples like a torch light and FM radio. The phone also has a 3.5mm headphone jack and a 0.3 megapixel camera on the back. It supports expandable storage via SD cards up to 128GB.
The phone will support UPI payments through JioPay, have access to JioCinema for movies, videos and sports entertainment, and JioSaavn service which includes more than 8 crore songs in multiple languages.