Airtel, Reliance Jio Phone fight: The race for supremacy in India’s telecom sector is gaining speed with each passing day. Just days after Airtel announced its low rate plans to take on Reliance Jio, India’s largest telecom operator is now in talks with multiple handset makers to bring a 4G smartphone for a price as low as Rs 2,500-2,700, reported PTI on Sunday afternoon. “The company is talking to various handset manufacturers to bring a Rs 2,500 to Rs 2,700 Android-based 4G smartphone to the market around Diwali,” a source was quoted saying in the report. This new smartphone will give a direct competition to Reliance Jio phone which is being sold for a refundable amount of Rs 1500.
Airtel is placing its bet on a full-fledged smartphone as it believes people would be ready to shell out a little more to get a fully loaded handset, the report added. PTI quoted a source familiar with the development as saying that this new 4G smartphone can make its entry into the Indian market somewhere around Diwali. As expected, the phone will come bundled with Airtel’s 4G connection and attractive data and voice plan to woo mass market customers.
As far as the specifications go, the report stated that new 4G smartphone will support dual SIMs, will have a four-inch display, dual camera, VoLTE calling and a longer battery life. According to the report, the phone will come up with 1 GB RAM which is great given the price. However, there is still no clarity over when the phone would be available for booking.
Airtel declined to comment on a detailed email questionnaire sent by PTI. “As a policy, we do not comment on market speculation,” the Airtel spokesperson said. The area where Airtel is planning to beat Jio is that the users might be looking for a phone with a bigger screen. Hence, Airtel’s new 4G smartphone bundled offering will target customers looking to upgrade from feature phones.
The name of the handset makers, that Airtel is negotiating with and the exact offers on the anvil are still under the wraps but it is learnt that the Sunil Mittal company will co-promote the 4G smartphone with the manufacturers. Besides this, Airtel also plans to offer its retail distribution muscle to take the device to the masses. – Financial Express