The main purpose of Digital India has always been improving connectivity among the common population of the country. It was launched with the purpose of empowering the masses with transparency, accessibility and efficiency that comes bundled with digital literacy. The initial step towards this dream has been digitizing the entire bureaucratic process, for which the primary measures have already been taken with the much-hyped materialization of the Unique Identification Cards (UID) or Aadhaar Cards.
In the resolution of its vision, one of the key factors that were taken into consideration was the gratification of Digital Infrastructure as a utility to every citizen, Government & Services on Demand and Digital Empowerment of Citizens. This is one area where recent developments have come up. The Government had been in dire straits to make broadband highway a reality, to achieve the tall order of providing universal access to Internet, to accomplish the Public Internet Access Programme and the long term ambition of Information for all. All this seems much closer to reality now with the recent launch of a 4G phone with the most affordable price tag on it.
Private Players Join the Fray
The recent exhilaration in the telecom sector can be credited to the grand launch of the 4G Feature phone from Reliance Jio. Announced recently but not launched yet, the new 4G phone comes equipped with a single sim that would be obviously restricted for Reliance Jio Sim cards. However, it has been confirmed that this feature phone with alphanumeric keypads and a 2.4-inch display with QVGA display would be able to support 4G VoLTE Technology, which currently only Reliance Jio facilitates in India. Although the design looks minimalistic, the phone does comes pre-loaded with a host of apps from Jio, voice command technology and supports 22 Indian languages. Apart from all these neatly packed accessories and features, Reliance has also announced a special subscription package for the Jio phone users.
The whole package, although seems like a blow to the low-end budget phone market in India, is actually proving out to be quite a boon for them. With Airtel planning to launch of its own 4G VoLTE technology over its existing 4G network, the competition is about to heat up with the rest of the network providers expected to follow suit. With the option of an alternate network, many low-end budget customers would most probably loosen the cash flow a bit more to extract that extra edge in the market. In circles where Reliance Jio is still emerging, the existing dominant players, like Vodafone , BSNL and Idea, could most probably take the plunge with their own variants. This, however, could be expected as a conscious collaborative effort between the network players and the smartphone manufacturers. Currently, Lava sells India’s cheapest 4G-enabled smartphone and other players like, Micromax, Intex, Lyf, and Karbonn are all planning their own 4G variants with support to VoLTE Technology. It is highly possible that these manufacturers would collaborate with the network providers like Airtel and Idea to come up with their own version of low-budget 4G phones with a very attractive subscription plan. It won’t be unlikely to see that in the low-budget segment, the battle will be fought over the grounds of the most feature-rich phone at the lowest price point.
Game Changing moves from the Corporate World for Digital India
The launch of the new 4G feature phone is heating up the competition in the low-budget segment. If we look at it from another perspective, then we would find that these corporate rivalries are actually boosting the connectivity among the common masses. This has proved to be the foundation stone to culminate the objective of Digital India. The launch of this new phone not only showcases the role of the corporate world in the whole Digital India initiative, but also showcases the significance of contribution from private players in achieving any national interests.
The recent launch of the low-budget 4G phone and the subsequent schemes has set in motion a raging trend among the common masses. Contemporary manufacturers are doling out or are planning some drastic measures in accordance with these recent launches and in the process, objectives such as universal digital literacy is being gratified.
Forecast for Digital India
The recent launch of the 4G enabled low-budget phone from Reliance Jio can only be seen as a trailer to what is about to crop up in the near future. The current iteration of the Jio phone is already boasting of support to video calls, NFC support, voice command, online TV and support to a host of other apps. Taking cue from the history pages, it is safe to say that features like fingerprint scanner and better browsing and user experience is bound to be observed in the same price point. Thus, with enhanced connectivity, transparency in governance and a much civilized population, technology would materialize many of the Government’s objective to being a global superpower and the launch of the new Jio phone, however, can certainly be considered as a giant leap in the venture called, Digital India.