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Reliance Jio at IPL: LYF to replace SAP on sleeves, to be promoted as Smartphone+

lyfThe Reliance Group is all set to make a big promotion of its upcoming Reliance Jio 4G and LYF handset brands at the upcoming Indian Premier League sports event.

The LYF logo will be emblazoned on the right arm of all the Mumbai Indian players, and underneath the logo will be the tagline ‘Smartphone+’ (see picture below). Last year, the spot was occupied by SAP, the software firm.

The Smartphone+ tagline is to symbolize the fact that LYF is not just another brand of smartphones, but a whole ecosystem that includes Reliance Jio’s 4G service, media services such as video on demand and music, news etc..

This information is in line with our earlier analysis and prediction that the group will start selling its handsets with bundled 4G connections starting just before, or at the same time as the upcoming IPL tournament.

The very first match of the upcoming IPL is between Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune at 8 PM this Saturday at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.

UPDATE: Mumbai Indians has tweeted the new uniform recently.

As we have already reported, Reliance has already started pushing LYF handsets bundled with Jio SIM cards into third-party distribution networks ahead of the commencement of ‘Smartphone+’ sales.

The starting of operations by the company is eagerly awaited in the hope that it will do to the wireless data sector what it was able to do to the wireless voice business thirteen years ago.

Mukesh Ambani, who heads Reliance Jio now, was then instrumental in bringing down call tariffs in India from around Rs 2.5-3.0 per minute to just 40 paise per minute.

The Indian wireless data industry is at a similar point in its evolution right now, with huge demand, but relatively low consumption because of a reluctance by companies like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular to reduce prices.

The average usage of wireless data in India is only around the 600 MB per month mark, despite the fact that nearly all of these users do not have any other form of access to the Internet.

India has one of the worst penetration levels of wired Internet, and wireless is supposed to become the main source of Internet access for the country in the coming days.

Ambani has already promised that by next year, Jio users will be able to consume an average of 10 GB per month — or about 14 times the current usage. What he has not said is how he expects to achieve the figure, but given the low incomes in the country, a drastic reduction in data tariff would seem like a prerequisite.

If Reliance Jio plans to offer extremely low data tariff, it has so far done an excellent job of keeping that secret.

At present, nobody other than the top management of the company, know what freebies and tariffs will be bundled with each LYF handset and Jio connection when the launch takes place.

Some clues have suggested that it would offer about 40 GB of data for anywhere between 1,000-1,500 per month. Such a pricing would make the offer four times cheaper than prevailing data offers.

Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular offer only about 10 GB of data at present for Rs 1,350-1,500.

In a recent interview with the Financial Times, Bharti Airtel founder Sunil Mittal said he expects prices to decline substantially after Ambani’s upcoming re-entry and that he was ‘concerned’.

“In 2002 when they came in they did the same thing, they crashed the price,” he said, before going on to admit that Bharti Airtel would not have rolled out its 4G services so fast if a Jio launch was not on the horizon.
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