Airtel to launch Rs 1000 4G feature phone to take on Reliance Jio? All you need to know

jio phone, airtel phone, Reliance Jio phone, Airtel 4G feature phone, micromax, intex, Reliance Industries Limited, Mukesh Ambani, Bharti airtel, jio phone booking, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) Chairman Mukesh Ambani took the nation by storm when he announced to launch Rs 1500 Jio Phone. But, now a report is doing the rounds that telecom giant Airtel is coming up with a Rs 1000 phone to take on rival Jio. According to a report in Phone Radar, Airtel is coming up with a 4G feature phone to give a competition to Reliance Jio 4G feature phone. Moreover, Phone Radar report claims that Airtel may join hands with Micromax or Intex for the manufacturing of the 4G feature phone. If this happens, it will be a win-win scenario for phone users as the fierce competition between the two telecom giants – Airtel and Jio – will eventually give users a big benefit as there will be no monopoly of any telecom provider. Mukesh Ambani on Friday had announced the launch of Jio Phone, offering life-long free voice calls bundled with 4G data streaming at an effective price of zero.

Jio phone, targeted at 50 crore feature phone users in the country, will be available for pre-booking from August 24 on payment of a refundable security deposit of Rs 1,500. The JioPhone will be available for user testing in beta mode from August 15.

This deposit will be refunded after 36 months on return of the phone, Mukesh Ambani had said, adding that the price of the phone will be effective zero.

Reliance Jio, the fourth-generation telecom arm of Reliance Industries, will provide unlimited data on the phone for Rs 153 per month.

Ambani had taken the telecom sector by surprise with free voice calls and data last year. Jio already has 125 million users since its launch in September last year.


Publisher reliance on tech providers is ‘insane’: A Digiday+ town hall with The Washington Post’s Jarrod Dicker

Jarrod Dicker, head of commercial product and tech at The Washington Post, joined members of Digiday+ on Slack for Town Hall Thursday. Digiday editors and Digiday+ members discussed with Dicker the Post’s investment into ad tech, integrating technology into all aspects of the newsroom and how Jeff Bezos influences the Post’s approach to everything from platforms to ad tech.

Become a member of Digiday+ here. We hold Slack town halls every two weeks, and in between, we’ll have editorial chats and group discussions on industry topics. Please join us.

Here’s what you missed from our discussion with Dicker.

Experimentation is key.
“It may sound cliche, but we want every technology arm at the company to feel comfortable with taking risks inside and outside their scope of work. For us, the main thing was integrating tech throughout our entire organization; newsroom, sales, research. And through that, having technology influence how we execute in each pocket of business.”

Owning ad tech has several advantages.
“By building our own ad tech, we differentiate [ourselves] in the marketplace and we create that’s not currently out there. It allowed us to: one, save money on vendor costs and two, control the tech that powers our revenue. While it’s necessary to leverage outside tech, it’s actually insane how much dependence publishers had on third-party ad tech to drive their revenue. They forfeit too much control. [Having control] has allowed us to actually define what ‘good’ ad tech is; we build faster rendering systems, we have lighter experiences, we build tech that lets brands build publisher-style executions, etc.”

These technologies are not limited to the Post.
“Speaking for [Post R&D arm] Red, not one of those technologies are limited to the Post. For display (PostPulse), video (FlexPlay), performance (Zeus), instant (Fuse) et al, they are independent of the WP platform. For Red, think of WashPost as the breeding ground for building and stress testing these products. The goal is to influence the market and make everything available to anyone. The arc publishing suite has licensable technology built by Post development teams across organizations for white label use. The products are newsroom specific, brand specific, revenue specific, analytics, etc. We have 80-100 million UVs a month at a given time; it’s an excellent venue to test all product and see how we can change the market in multiple ways.”

The Bezos Effect is focus.
“There are a lot of Jeffisms (internal term for Jeff quotes) we use to motivate our focus. [Investing in ad tech] is a Bezos influence. Publishers need to invest in different teams in order to excel in this space. You don’t want it to distract your core business. While influenced by the organization, it needs to have its own arm in order to actually be valuable.”

Platforms are more than just immediate returns.
“The common theme is Jeff’s influence, and I think that’s allowed us to take an educational approach to platforms over an operational one. 90 per cent of the publishers are looking for immediate returns from Amp and Instant (usually greater than CPM). While we obviously care about those things, what’s more important to us is what we can learn from them and how we leverage those learnings to make our product and environment better. For example, PWA, Fuse, Zeus; all these products were influenced by platforms. And yes, we’re still on them and experimenting. The goal is to drive subs while leveraging FAN [Facebook Audience Network] and backfill to drive revenue on that extension.”


Airtel Challenges TRAI Decision Allowing Reliance Jio to Continue Free Services Offer

Airtel Challenges TRAI Decision Allowing Reliance Jio to Continue Free Services OfferAirtel Challenges TRAI Decision Allowing Reliance Jio to Continue Free Services Offer
Bharti Airtel on Friday moved telecom dispute tribunal TDSAT against TRAI allowing Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio to continue free promotional offer beyond stipulated 90 days, charging the telecom regulator of being a “mute spectator” to violations.

In its 25-page petition before the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), Airtel – India’s largest private mobile services operator – asked the quasi-judicial body to direct TRAI to ensure that Reliance Jio does not provide its free voice and data plan beyond December 3.

Airtel alleged that violation of TRAI’s tariff orders has been continuing since March 2016, causing “significant prejudice and day-to-day loss” to it and “affecting its network” as it has to bear asymmetric traffic due to free call offer by Reliance Jio.

Jio first launched an inaugural free voice and data plan beginning September 4 and earlier this month extended it till March 31.

Giving reasons for its petition, Airtel said the “free services” continue in blatant violation of the TRAI’s Directions, Tariff Orders and the Regulations with “TRAI as a mute spectator.”
When the petition was mentioned before a bench of TDSAT on Friday, Jio counsel was present who asked to be impleaded as a party to the case. TRAI submitted that it needs 10 more days to take a decision.
TDSAT directed TRAI to come back with its decision on the next day and directed Reliance Jio to file an impleadment application.

Next date of hearing has been fixed for January 6, 2017. Airtel in the petition alleged that TRAI in its decision dated October 20 “erroneously concluded” that since the Jio’s promotional offer of free services was only valid till December 3, it is consistent with the “90 days” directions of TRAI.

“The TRAI further without affording any reasoning baldly, cryptically and in a non-transparent manner in violation of Section 11(4) of the TRAI Act concluded that the Tariff Plans offered by the said TSP are not non-compliant with IUC and are not predatory and discriminatory at present. The impugned decision of TRAI is thus bad in law and deserves to be quashed,” it said.

The appeal, it said, has been filed against TRAI’s October 20 decision as well as against its “continued failure to fulfil its statutory obligation” under TRAI Act by prohibiting the blatant violation of its own Tariff Orders and Regulations.

Tags: Airtel, Reliance Jio, TRAI, Jio Happy New Year Offer, India


Reliance Jio Money to Roll Out to Merchants From Monday

Reliance Jio Money to Roll Out to Merchants From Monday

Reliance Jio Money to Roll Out to Merchants From Monday
Jio Money will be rolled out to Merchants from December 5
Ambani talked about transferring money directly from bank accounts
He promised 10 million merchants will be onboard shortly
RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani on Thuresday made an announcement where he outlined Jio’s entry into the fin-tech market. Ambani first announced the extension of Jio’s free Welcome offer – now the Happy New Year Offer – to all, and then went on to talk about demonetisation, and how the Jio Money wallet will be used to resolve the difficulties this has caused.
The Jio Money app can be used for recharges and bill payments going forward, Ambani said, and added that a new app for merchants will be available from December 5, enabling them to accept payments as well.

Ambani said that he applauds demonetisation, and added that it has provided the “strongest possible push in the ongoing efforts to change the mindset of the people of India,” away from relying on cash.
“Today, with the Jio Money application, every Indian has access to a digital money wallet that is linked to their bank account,” said Ambani. “A key driver is the ability to convert physical cash into digital cash and vice versa. To make this possible, Jio Money is rapidly expanding it’s reach to millions of touchpoints, where Aadhaar based micro ATMs will be deployed.”

This ties in with something else that Ambani said earlier during the announcement. Talking about the Jio network, he had said that it has rolled out over 200,000 eKYC enabled stores, or “more than the number of ATMs in India,” which he specially pointed out, before adding that RIL will raise this number to 400,000 across India by March 2017.

He said that these stores would be used to enable new Aadhaar-based services as well – which would explain how this network of micro ATMs he talked about would spread.
“Merchants, especially small merchants, are a very big part of the plan, and we are working with the merchants to build a digital retail ecosystem, called Jio Money Merchant ecosystem,” said Ambani. “This will be at mandis, restaurants, bus and railway tickets, and even person to person transfers. Starting 5th of December, every merchant can download this application.”

Interestingly, Ambani did not seem to be talking about using Jio Money purely as a mobile wallet, but rather as a broader banking play, as he went on to say: “Customers can use this to pay the merchant from their bank accounts, and merchants can use this to accept the payments directly into their bank accounts.”

At this point, it’s worth noting that Jio is one of the companies to still hold a payments bank license in a joint venture with SBI.

Thus, although Jio is currently operating Jio Money as a digital wallet, its ambitions are clearly grander. Talking about how the digital money would be used, Ambani said that it could be used at all levels of the economy, paid directly from bank accounts, without mentioning the wallet word at all.

“Using this [the Jio Money Merchant app], merchants can also make supplier payments, transfer money from accounts, and digital petty cash,” said Ambani. “Very soon, Jio money is going to sign up 10 million merchants across India.”

Given the huge scale that Jio has, the fact that it has all KYC documentation in place for its mobile customers (now 52 million, and growing) and given that it has a physical infrastructure in place to carry out banking logistics, it could well make a big impact in the coming weeks.

Tags: Reliance Jio Money, Jio Money, Reliance Jio, Apps, Telecom, India, Micro ATMs