Jio Phone: Idea Raises Net Neutrality Concerns; Will Launch Its Own Mobile

Jio Phone: Idea Raises Net Neutrality Concerns; Will Launch Its Own Mobile


Idea Cellular has flagged net neutrality concerns about Jio Phone, Reliance Jio’s proposed 4G handset, saying it will only allow the apps of the operator’s choice and that it will also launch a slightly expensive handset as a counter to it.

“One of the concerns is about net neutrality. [Jio Phone] will not allow most of the apps which a customer prefers and the choice of apps may not work because it is forcing consumers to use an individual operator’s apps,” Himanshu Kapania, the managing director of Idea Cellular Limited, the third largest telco operator, said in an analyst call.

Kapania further said it remains to be seen as to how the proposed Jio Phone, which does not have features like a smartphone, serves those wanting to browse the Internet. “While clearly, it has an appeal for customers with voice usage, what appeal does it have for customers who have an Internet requirement, we will have to wait to see,” he said.

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He said the Aditya Birla Group company, which is being merged with larger rival Vodafone, is working with handset makers to launch a phone that will be slightly more expensive than the Jio Phone but offer customers the freedom of choice.

This new handset will give all the choices to a customer, including to choose the operator of his/ her choice, popular applications like Google, Facebook, or WhatsApp, Kapania stressed.

It can be noted that net neutrality is a very touchy subject when it comes to telecom services worldwide and had snowballed into a major controversy in the country last year. Later, social media giant Facebook had abandoned…



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