21 July by Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani, India’s top
industrialist, this device is expected to create a tsunami
in the telecom industry.
Because it is for free.
Yes, free except for a deposit of Rs. 1,500 ($ 23)
repayable after three years.
The monthly payment will be just Rs 153 ($2.35) with free
The majority of phone users in India do not have
smartphones due to their high price, said Mukesh Ambani
estimating them at half a billion.
Not only are they unable to get access to high-speed
Internet and free voice calls, but they are also out of
reach for government information and services and e-banking.
With 4G, this phone will enable them to get all these
facilities with unlimited high-speed data.
It has many smartphone features like SMS, music, movies,
free voice calling and commands in 22 Indian languages; so
you can send messages, place calls, search the Web using
You can also pay your bills from a linked bank account.
With an optional cable, you can connect it to a TV.
Booking for this phone starts on 24 August and the phone
will be sent in September, made in India by Indian vendors.
This will inflict a mortal blow to the mobile market of
one billion Indian users, now dominated by Chinese products.
Three Indian brands with a small market share will also
take a big hit.
Equally, the service providers will also be rammed.
These service providers have already lowered their
charges after the launch of Jio 4G service last September
and grabbed over 120 million users. Now he after 500 million
Content is not a problem for Reliance as the company owns
a major TV channel and has shares in a major TV and movie
With this launch, Reliance has taken on scores of
multi-nationals in mobile phones and service providers who
dominate the Indian market.
No wonder some experts are apprehensive about its
As this company also plans for bringing world-class
optic-fibre connectivity across India for homes, small
businesses ad enterprises.
This project dovetails into the Modi government
initiatives such as Digital India, Make in India, Smart
Cities, among others.
Using technology, it will deliver governance to the
poorest people in the farthest rural areas thus reaching out
with government information and services to help them for a
better standard of life.
With unlimited high-speed internet in their hands, even
though they may be illiterate, they are connected.
If they cannot access all the information they need and/
or perform the tasks on their mobiles, they can always get
help from their teenage
children with better understanding of digital