Reliance Jio Infocomm is planning to differentiate its 4G service from its competitors’ with bespoke apps.
The operator has developed a messaging app as the first of a wave which will include health, e-commerce, finance and TV. Branded as Jio Chat, the messaging app works with iOS and Android, and will be preloaded onto devices sold for use on Jio’s network.
Having invested around INR700 billion ($11.2 billion) into its network, Reliance Jio is up against a strict deadline to begin its 4G offering, and will be penalised if it hasn’t launched by the end of June. The apps will function on any network, although Jio has stated that this is aimed at highlighting the difference in connection speed.
The app allows users to make voice and video calls, as well as send picture messages. Unregistered users can also receive messages from the service via SMS; while this will not cost the Jio Chat user more than a standard data charge, the recipient will be charged a standard SMS fee – however, they will be warned of this. Messages will be capped at 100 per month.
Credit Suisse were quoted by the Times of India as saying that “the clarity and latency are quite close to normal voice. The data consumed for a call amounts to INR0.24 per minute on Jio Chat on prevailing data tariffs (compared to INR0.65-0.70 per minute for regular outgoing call rates in the market).”