$12 phone with 4G support goes on sale in India – Kommersant

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Indian telecommunications company Reliance Jio introduced budget phone Jio Bharat for $12. An important difference between Jio Bharat and other budget phones common in the country is that it supports 4G and not 2G, which is common for such phones. Test sales of the first million Jio Bharat phones will begin tomorrow, July 7th.

“In India, 250 million mobile users are still trapped in the 2G era while the world is already on the cusp of the 5G revolution,” Akash Ambani, head of Jio division, said in connection with the new phone.

Jio Bharat is intended primarily for people who did not have a phone with Internet access before, especially in rural areas in India. Jio Bharat refers to a type of phone, sometimes called a feature phone, which is a cross between a traditional mobile phone and a smartphone. Such phones have a physical keyboard, but a relatively large screen and Internet access.

Jio is the telecommunications division of the Reliance conglomerate, owned by one of the richest Indians, Mukesh Ambani. Jio is the #1 mobile operator in India with 439 million customers. This position of the company was achieved primarily due to very low tariffs – they are on average 30% lower than those of competitors. According to analysts, a budget phone like the Jio Bharat could bring quite a few new users to the company.

“With a familiar form factor and internet connectivity, this device will help users access key services such as payments, content and more through the Jio ecosystem for the first time. True, the screen size somewhat limits the possibilities, but nevertheless it is a good option for those who will get access to the Internet for the first time, ”said Varun Mishra, senior analyst at Counterpoint Research.

Yana Rozhdestvenskaya

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