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Reliance launches $12 4G phone to expand reach

Reliance’s digital arm, Jio Platforms, has launched a new mobile handset and tariff plans to convert “trapped” 2G users.

Jio Platforms’ 4G-enabled “Jio Bharat” phone has UPI mobile payments and access to Jio’s on-demand video and music streaming services, JioCinema and JioSaavn.

The company will build the Jio Bharat and work with other phonemakers to use the platform. Reliance announced that Delhi-based Karbonn joined the platform.

Reliance said the Jio Bharat costs 999 Indian rupees ($12.2). The Indian giant said the Jio Bharat is for 250 million Indians who cannot afford 4G. The handset and new affordable tariff plan are the offering.

Jio Platform introduced a $1.5 monthly plan with 14GB of data and unlimited calls for 123 Indian rupees. The annual plan costs 1,234 Indian rupees, or $15.

Reliance will launch the Jio Bharat as a “beta trial” on July 7. The trial is to “ensure scalability of platform and processes for upgrading millions of feature phone users.”

Another step is the Jio Bharat phone. “It is at the center of innovation, and it continues to demonstrate our focus on bringing disproportionate and true value for different segments of users with meaningful, real-life use cases,” said Reliance Jio Chairman Akash Ambani.

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