Reliance Jio, the largest wireless operator in India is aiming to launch a 5G smartphone for less than Rs 5000. According to a PTI report citing an unnamed official, the company will gradually reduce the price of its upcoming 5G smartphone further to Rs 2,500 to Rs 3000 when it scales up the operation. The 20 to 30 crore people who are currently using the 2G connection in India would be the prime targets for the low-cost 5G smartphones. The current price range for 5G smartphones is around Rs 27,000 and Jio’s move to introduce a low-cost 5G smartphone would be a massive game changer in the smartphone market, if launched. PTI highlighted that the operator has not provided a response to its query.
Low-cost 5G in India: Jio Set to Become a Significant Player
At its recent 43rd Annual General Meeting, Reliance Jio’s Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani announced his plan to make India ‘2G-mukt’. He said that the company would accelerate the migration of 350 million Indians who are currently using the 2G feature to affordable smartphones. The new speculation of the company launching 5G smartphones at low cost aligns with this announcement.
Reliance Jio has already capped an investment arrangement from the technology giant Google. The US tech giant would invest Rs 33,737 crore for 7.73% stake in Jio Platform that also houses telecom operations of Reliance Industries. Google’s investment was a part of its plan to invest US$10 billion in India over the next five to seven years. According to Mukesh Ambani, the tech giant intends to partner with Jio to build an Android-based smartphone operating system.
Notably, Reliance Jio is also working on 5G equipment and has requested the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to allocate spectrum for trials of its 5G products.
Jio Platforms Received Multiple Investments from Global Investors
Prior to Google, Facebook had announced an investment of Rs 43,574 crores for an 9.99% stake in Jio Platforms. The US chipmaker Qualcomm was another leading technology player that announced its plan to invest in Jio Platforms. Qualcomm plans to invest Rs 730 crore in Jio Platforms for 0.15% stake.
Jio also has other global investors including Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Mubadala, private equity firms Silver Lake, Vista Equity Partners, General Atlantic, KKR, TPG, L Catterton and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF).