Reliance Jio, India's top telco on Thursday announced that it would be working on a low-cost 4G smartphone in a collaboration with famed smartphone UI maker Google, the ones responsible for Android. Jio has touted it to be the next biggest thing and aims for it to bridge the gap between people using smartphones and feature phones by providing them with a cheap medium of transferring to the latter.
What Does Airtel Have to Say
Airtel has stated that it welcomes the low-end smartphone initiative from Reliance Jio and Google. They support every effort that triggers the upgradation of feature phones to smartphones so as to bring more Indians online.
The telcos experience has shown that as customers with entry-level devices upgrade to quality smartphones which are priced over INR 7000, they demonstrate a strong preference for Airtel’s brand and network. In the long run, this complements its strategy of focusing on quality customers with world-class services.
The telco has further mentioned that it will continue to work with device manufacturers to make quality smartphones accessible for customers through innovative financing and bundling offers. In doing so, it will strengthen the efforts of all our partners in the ecosystem.
The comments from Airtel came just hours after Reliance Industries Chairman, Mr Mukesh Ambani announced that Jio, in collaboration with Google would be launching India's most affordable 4G smartphone on September 10, with the aim to target the country's 300 million 2G device users.
Do note that Airtel has maintained that it has no plans to shut down or switch off its 2G networks, stating that such a step is only feasible when 2G services do not generate meaningful amounts of revenue, which, as of now, is not the case.