RELIANCE JIO 4G LAUNCH LIVE — SIM cards reach Reliance Digital stores

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Reliance Digital outlets in India have recieved stocks of Reliance Jio SIM cards and will start selling them over the next one week or ten days. They will be followed by small retailers within the next 10-15 days.

Due to technical issues, the company is unlikely to give 4G voice (VoLTE) facility initially, according to our sources.

UPDATE: Credit Suisse analysts have also brought out a quick note saying Reliance is preparing its staff for a soft launch.

As we had predicted three months ago, there is a chance that priority will be given to those who buy LYF handsets, while distributing SIM cards. Even if Reliance Digital starts off by selling SIMs only along with LYF handsets, Jio will start selling connections through normal shops without such requirements very soon thereafter, according to third-party distributors.

The company has in stock around 3-5 mln LYF handsets, and the number of SIM cards that has been pushed into various Reliance Digital stores is also estimated to be around the same — indicating that it will try to sell the handsets using the Jio connection as an added attraction. There will also be free data bundled with the handsets.

Jio had a month ago said it will launch a handset — Flame 2 — priced at Rs 4,999. However, the phone is not available in the stores that we’ve checked. The cheapest phone available in most stores is Flame 1, which costs Rs 500 more than Flame 2.

LYF Flame 2 supports all three bands of Jio 4G (unlike some of the Water models launched earlier that support only 2 bands), and comes with 1 GB of RAM and a 4.5-inch display. Reliance Digital is also launching LYF 4K UHD smart TVs starting from Rs 55,000 as well.

To ensure that users who buy LYF handsets remain with Jio, the company will be pricing the handset above what competitors like Lenovo charge, but in return, it will offer a particular amount of data for six months on the Jio connection. The amount of data will be at least 10 GB per month, depending on the pricing of the phone.

The cities where the rumored SIM sales will start include all the metros, and places like Patna in Bihar and Kochi in Kerala. Though there is no official confirmation, unofficial sources are indicating that the company will launch its 4G services state by state, city by city — and complete the process in April itself.

To locate the nearest Reliance store, click here.

There are reports that distributors and retailers across the country are now starting to get recharge SIMs, customer acquisition forms and handsets with special retailer apps ahead of the launch process.

Most of the information about Reliance Jio at present is in the form of rumors. However, we expect more concrete details in the days ahead.

Our sources indicate that the company is scrambling to get its distribution network in place, while other technical infrastructure — such as a functioning radio network, billing and recharging infrastructure etc. are in place in most circles.jio

Many employees are working till late night in an effort get things in shape before the deadlines.

Meanwhile, there are widespread reports on social media about the launch.

Much of the buzz is around Bihar, West Bengal and South India, which may be among the first to see the launch of services.

On this page, we bring you all leaks and tweets at one place — updated every two hours.

The credit for kicking off this season of speculation on Reliance Jio launch date must go to the user JP Singh, who two days ago tweeted that the company will announce its first commercial service tomorrow (Sunday, Mar 27).

Singh has today (Saturday) tweeted that Jio SIM cards will be available from Monday via all Reliance Digital stores. Singh’s initial comment has led in turn to more tweets, both in support of, and against the possibility of, a launch next month.

We bring the latest social media updates to you in reverse-chronological order. Readers can also contribute by either sharing the screenshot on our commenting system (click on the ‘photo’ icon) or by sharing a link to the content.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM SOCIAL MEDIA

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