Following rumours about plans to launch Reliance Jio 4G services in India at a later time this year due to technical difficulties, a Credit Suisse report revealed that Relaince Digital stores in Mumbai are prepping to launch the 4G-enabled Jio SIM cards soon. The report also suggests the stores are being equipped with infrastructure to enable quick processing and the staff have been training in the issuing of Jio SIM cards.
Credit Suisse suggests the company might be preparing a commercial soft launch of Jio 4G in the country, but failed to mention any specific date. Reliance Jio commenced employee-only roll-out of 4G services in December last year, putting more than one lakh people on its high-speed mobile broadband network, and promised wider roll-out in the second half of 2016.
The financial services company said the SIM cards would initially be offered for Rs 200 with free data and voice packs with three months validity, Gadgets360 reported. But the report failed to mention if the SIMs would be offered with or without Lyf smartphones or other tariffs if a user wishes to top up their cards.
However, a separate report from BGR India said that Reliance has already started shipping 4G SIM cards and dongles to its official brand stores. Jio 4G SIMs would only be offered with LYF smartphones initially, but the company is expected to offer standalone cards at a later time.
As per media reports, Jio Mi-Fi devices, which come bundled with data and VoLTE voice minutes and connect up to 10 users at once, would be available at discounted price around Rs 700-800. Mi-Fi devices would come with 40GB data with three months validity and a wide range of data recharge options up to 200GB with three months validity.
The report further added that a low-cost voice plan for Rs 30-35 and a family plan starting at Rs 37 would also be offered.
Reliance Jio is targeting 100 subscribers within 100 days of launch and about 131 million customers by the end-2019-20, Morgan Stanley, a US-based brokerage firm, had said earlier this year. The firm added that Reliance Jio could earn $1.7 billion in revenue by the end of 2016-17 if the commercial roll-out of 4G services began in April. The company's annual revenue is expected to rise to $6.69 billion (Rs 45,492 crore) by March 2020. The new service's launch in India would significantly challenge top telecom operators, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone India.