Reliance Jio and Google are reportedly planning to roll out more than 100 Mn low-cost Android smartphones, bundled with Jio data packs. Source told Business Standard that the phones could be in the market by December or early next year. The report suggests that the manufacturing of phones would be outsourced to homegrown vendors, with Reliance already in talks with some of them.
During Reliance’s 43rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in July, the company’s chairman Mukesh Ambani talked about building a low-cost 4G or possibly 5G-enabled smartphone for the Indian users, at a fraction of its current cost. The company had added that to power such a “value-engineered smartphone, we also need an equally value-engineered smartphone operating system (OS).” Ambani had announced that Google and Jio would partner to build an Android-based smartphone OS.
“Through this partnership, we are confident that we can accelerate the national mission of putting a smart device in the hands of every Indian. As India is standing at the doorsteps of the 5G era, we should accelerate the migration of 350 Mn Indians, who currently use a 2G feature phone, to an affordable smartphone. Jio is determined to make India 2G-mukt (2G-free),” Ambani had said.
Last month, Inc42 reported that Jio Platforms, the digital services subsidiary of Reliance Industries and parent of telecommunications company Reliance Jio Infocomm, may take its indigenous solution for 5G network connectivity to West Asia, Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia regions after testing and scaling the technology in India when the 5G spectrum is made available.
At the Reliance AGM held last month, the company announced that it had developed a ‘Made in India’ solution for 5G network connectivity, which it would look to export to other countries after testing and scaling it in India.
A few days after the AGM, the company reached out to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for the 5G spectrum, despite there being no official announcement for a 5G spectrum auction by the Telecom Regulatory Authority Of India (TRAI).
According to a Business Standard report, Reliance Jio had applied for 800 megahertz (MHz) spectrum each in both the millimetres — 26 gigahertz (GHz) and 24 GHz — wave mmWave band as well as 100 MHz in the 3.5 GHz band for field trials in few metro cities. If the trials are successful, India would join a select group of countries that are in the position to sell their own 5G networking technology globally, something only a handful of companies have managed.