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Also, the price is rather a refundable deposit. Though never devoid of colour, the mood at the Birla Matoshri auditorium in South Mumbai, the traditional address for RIL's shareholder meetings, was one of especial euphoria and jubilation.

Narinder Kumar, analyst at Cybermedia Research, said the feature phone from Jio will impact the current market of 2G handsets as well as the entry-level smartphone segment. Jio, being a 4G-only network, requires such a phone, after all. Voice and would both be "free" on a monthly plan of Rs153. Mukesh Ambani's Reliance has made phone call free, and handsets cheaper than a postcard.

The 50 Cr feature phone users don't even have access to basic internet and apps. To address that problem, Ambanis have now launched a "free" Jio 4G LTE compatible feature phone JioPhone. "Jio will give them access to unlimited data on the Jio phone", he said. The device was long rumored to be a 4G-enabled featured phone of the company. The recharge plans start at Rs.153 per month. The JioPhone comes with unlimited voice calling and SMS, with "unlimited" data being priced at just Rs 153 per month. But, there is a fair usage policy.

Ambani said that Jio has more than 100 million paying customers with majority on a 309 rupees plan.

This is especially true in many remote parts of India where even cable TV and high speed internet have not reached.

Sceptics said free users will never convert to paid users.

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We are well aware that many of these users find it hard to commit Rs. 153 upfront. The Jio offer packs are rs.24 for two days and Rs.54 per week. Apart from this, the Jio 4G VoLTE feature phone includes SOS feature, which can be activated by pressing "5" key on the keypad to call an emergency number.

Mukesh Ambani said that "There are 78 crore mobile phones in India, However, in this 78 crore, there are more than 50 crore feature phone users, who have been left out". The phone comes with voice command control feature and one can talk to the phone to do the wished tasks like making a call or run an app or search for something. Although the company hasn't categorically mentioned whether or not the JioPhone will support secondary SIMs, it seems the phone will be locked to Jio at least for primary requirements.

It has support for NFC or near field communications for mobile payment, and will support UPI payment, credit and debit card.

We plan to collect a fully refundable, one-time, security deposit of Rs 1,500 with every #JioPhone.

Jio Phone will be launched on August 15 and the pre-bookings for this phone will begin on August 24. When existing 3G smart phone users replace their phones, they have nearly have no choice but to opt for 4G handsets, as 3G handsets are not available in the market.