Reliance JioInks Deals with LG and Micromax for Sale of VoLTE Handsets

The largest private conglomerate of the country, Reliance Industries is preparing to establish the biggest distribution network for 4G devices. Its telecom venture, Reliance JioInfocomm has inked exclusive distribution deals with companies like LG, Intex, Lenovo, and Micromax, for the sale of Voice over Long-Term Evolution (VoLTE) handsets. The company is going to roll out its 4G services soon.

Agreement with Phone Companies

Abiding by the agreement, companies like LG and Micromax are no longer selling their VoLTE handsets through online retail websites and other platforms. A senior executive revealed that LG has launched 3G variants of the phones to sell them through other distributors, but, its 4G variant will be supplied and sold solely through the network established by Reliance Industries.

Through its network, Reliance Industries wants to mark its presence in the 1.5 lakh retail outlets across the country. The Mukesh Ambani-led company is targeting a sizeable proportion of the total 4G smartphone sales in the country. It has appointed more than 34 zonal distributors, who earlier worked for companies like Microsoft and Samsung, to serve 1.2 lakh retailers. These include a number of major national and regional retail chains.

Five of the Reliance Industries’ 34 zonal distributors earlier worked for Samsung. Two are from the North and South each, and one from the West. The two companies are in talks with each other to collaborate on a joint go-to-market strategy. Samsung has more than 1.5 lakh point of sales to sell its smartphones. These include 2,100 exclusive brand retail stores.

Plans of Reliance Industries

Reliance Industries aims to control the supply chain and handset distribution. This will enable the company to smoothly deploy its 4G data and voice services. The company believes that consumers will quickly shift to VoLTE phones, recreating the scenario of China. An executive from the company mentioned that the handsets will help consumers get a superior voice experience, when bundled with Reliance Jio’s VoLTE supporting network. “We want all 4G VoLTE phone makers to ride on our distribution strength because it may not be possible for them to reach 1.5 lakh touch points”, the executive added.

Reliance Industries’ distribution platform will offer better supply chain productivity, credit capability, digital payment capability, and greater customer connectivity to small retailers. The company’s retail arm, Reliance Retail is setting up the distribution network. Through newer opportunities, the company wants to strengthen small and medium retailers.

Reliance Industries is also gearing up to launch its own 4G mobile phones, branded under the name of LYF. In the initial phase, it will launch 6 models. The company plans to add another 6 models by March 2016.

The phones in the initial phase will be sold in the price bracket of INR 8,000 to INR 10,000. The company wants to establish a premium image through this launch. Later, it will introduce 4G handsets priced as low as INR 4,000, to target people in villages and remote corners of the country.

Summary

Reliance JioInfocomm Limited inks deals with Lenovo, LG, Micromax, and Intex for selling VoLTE mobile phones.

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