Reliance has taken one more quiet step towards the commercial launch of Jio 4G services by making Jio SIMs freely available in stores. Until now, the SIMs were available by invitation only. The SIMs are bundled with Lyf brand of phones, launched by Jio earlier this year.
According to a report in ET, the stores in the big cities are now selling SIM cards to regular customers. Last month, Jio did a limited roll out for consumers where the employees of the company could invite 10 friends to try out the 4G services.
The Jio SIM offers three months of unlimited 4G data without any data cap. It also offers 4500 minutes of voice calling and access to premium Jio services and 1500 minutes of VoLTE (Voice over LTE) calls. The company has been silent about the roll out -- SIMs have been available since last week in stores but there has been no announcement to this effect.
The availability of SIMs coincides with the launch of the website Jio.com that allows people to register for future Jio services. Reliance had announced in April that almost 500,00 people were using the Jio 4G services.
The commercial launch of Jio services, originally slotted for April, was pushed to December due to technical problems. The availability of 4G SIMs in stores could indicate that the launch is round the corner.
Jio has entered into multiple network agreements since it acquired space in the 4G spectrum two years ago. It has deals with Anil Ambani's Reliance communication and RCom, and have also tied up with network infrastructure companies such as Reliance Infratel, Bharti Infratel, Indus Towers and Viom Networks.
Things are looking bright for the company as reports say it is likely to capture 10-12 percent of the telecom market share in the coming years. In addition, Jio's Lyf series of phones saw tremendous sales in the first quarter of the year where they captured the 5th position in India in smartphone shipment volumes.