Thousands line up outside stores as new handsets join Jio Preview Offer
Thousands line up outside stores as new handsets join Jio Preview OfferReuters File

Reliance Jio Infocomm has come up with an idea that could be win-win for both mobile service providers and handset makers, even as it gears up to launch its 4G services commercially by the end of this year. In the process, it could also steal a march over its rivals such as Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone.

The telecom arm of Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has been creating a steady buzz about the limited launch of its 4G services for about 5 lakh users comprising RIL Group employees, partners, vendors and associates last December.

Currently, the user base stands at 1.5 million, according to a presentation by the company after its June quarter results.

After withdrawing the 10GB data-at-Rs 93-offer to Reliance Jio Sim users on Tuesday within a month of making the offer last month, the company now plans to offer three months of free data and voice services along with handsets. The company has already finalised a deal to that effect with Korean handset maker Samsung and the next could be Apple, reports the Economic Times. 

"The company expects this strategy will help to instantly build its consumer base even before the commercial launch expected anytime this year," the ET quoted an RIL official as saying.

Though the company has not given a time-frame for launching its 4G services, it did say the roll out would be "soon" after the declaration of its Q4, FY2016 results in April this year.

"Test program to be progressively upgraded into commercial operations in coming months," RIL had said in its presentation to analysts.  

"Initial feedback very encouraging; established smooth operations of all aspects of network and business," it had added. 

Shares of RIL were trading at Rs. 1,022, up 0.65 percent from their previous close, at around 1.40 p.m. on the Bombay Stock Exchange. 

Reliance Jio Infocomm will be raising Rs. 15,000 crore via rights issue, RIL recently said in a regulatory filing with the National Stock Exchange.