India’s Reliance Jio seems to be moving closer to the commercial launch of much-awaited 4G services. The companies has recently started selling its Lyf smartphones with SIM cards, says a report in Economic Times. Mukesh Ambani-led RJio had launched 4G services for its employees in December last year.
The 4G SIM cards come with three months of free unlimited data and 4500 minutes of voice calls. Though Sim cards are not available without Lyf smartphones, this is a step closer to the commercial launch of the service. It was earlier believed that the company will commercially launch the services in March this year.
RJio has also launched jio.com, the new website, through which customers can register and obtain Jio mobile connections.
The company had procured pan-India 2300Mhz spectrum way back in 2010 after acquisition of Infotel. Later RJio acquired spectrum in 800Mhz and 1800Mhz. It also formed infrastructure sharing pacts with various companies like Reliance Infratel, Indus Towers and Viom Networks. It has already invested more than INR1000 billion in setting up the infrastructure.
RJio is likely to face stiff competition from service providers such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular. Because of the delay in the launch, RJio has lost first mover advantage to an extent. The incumbents have launched 4G services across the country. Airtel is present in more than 300 towns and cities. Vodafone India and Idea have also launched 4G in various parts of the country. Lyf phones with 4G SIM cards are being sold in large-format retail stores in Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, and tier-1 cities in states such as Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.