JioPhone was, unsurprisingly, at the centre of Friday’s Reliance AGM that was helmed by Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani. The JioPhone has long been in the rumour mill, and has been launched at an “effective price” of Rs. 0. While the 4G phone’s features and price are attractive enough by themselves, the company added on top the new Rs. 153 Jio plan to give consumers its services at a more affordable tariff. This is about 50 percent cheaper than the basic Rs. 309 plan with all the Jio benefits that the company offers to smartphone users.
Voice calls will always be free on the JioPhone, Ambani said, whose telecom operator has been offering free voice calls to its 125 million 4G customers since its launch last year. SMSes will also be free. Data will be “incredibly affordable”, too, he said. Starting August 15, Ambani said, JioPhone buyers will be able to access “unlimited fast internet data,” with the Rs. 153 monthly subscription.
There are also two sachets – available at Rs. 24 for two days of data usage, and Rs. 54 for a week-worth use – that JioPhone users could opt for should they need additional data or data just for a limited period time.
On the sidelines, the company also announced JioPhone TV-Cable, an accessory that will enable JioPhone customers to watch a bouquet of Jio Prime services – movies, music, live TV, and more – on their TV. The cable is said to work with both modern and legacy CRT televisions. Subscribers of Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan Plan, who pay Rs. 309 every month, will be able to use the service as well.