Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio, the only pan-Indian 4G telecom operator, will launch 4G-enabled handsets in the second week of September, ahead of the formal launch of its 4G services,
The report said that the 4G handsets will be priced between Rs 5,000 and Rs 25,000, and will see a nationwide launch through Reliance Retail under Reliance's consumer electronics brand, ReConnect.
The Jio branded handsets will be configured to work across multiple frequencies, and will also support VOLTE (voice over LTE).
This comes at a time when Sunil Bharti Mittal-led Bharti Airtel has already raced past Jio to expand its 4G services to cover nearly 300 towns to take the first mover advantage, becoming the first telecom company in the country to roll out 4G services pan-India.
RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani, at the Digital India week launch, had said his company was setting up a new distribution network that would enable 150,000 small retailers to sell and service smartphones and devices. Ambani then said that the company was also working with 28 original equipment manufacturers to make devices for India.
Jio has reportedly started its fourth generation (4G) bundled mobile and data services through a beta launch on August 15, coinciding with the India's 69th Independence Day. The telco is seeking to test the network with one lakh Reliance employees to start with before a commercial launch in December.
Reliance Jio's first full year of commercial operation will be FY 2016-17. Till then, the network is expected to work in the beta mode.
The group, which has invested around Rs 1 lakh crore on its 4G network, plans to expand the beta launch to 5 million consumers by September-end by offering about five Jio connections to each Reliance employee for an extensive beta programme to further test the network to plug loopholes, if any, said sources in the know of the development.