Indian upstart Reliance Jio Infocomm is reportedly readying a soft launch for its 4G network in early April, ahead of its planned commercial availability later this year.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a client note the company could opt for an extended soft launch to test if the network is reliable and optimised enough to handle the full launch, which is expected in the next three to six months, reports Economic Times.
The US brokerage firm is however sceptical at the amount of uptake Jio will see during the soft launch, which would require consumers to buy its Lyf handsets to access the network.
“In our view, not many users would pay INR5,000 ($75) to INR20,000 to buy a Lyf handset for accessing free data for just three months, as there is limited visibility on the tariffs Reliance Jio will charge beyond the three months.”
To attract more users to its network, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said the company should make the services available to any consumer that buys the SIM card for use it with an existing handset.
Last week, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said Jio could delay the launch of the network until as late as December, with the operator likely to put off the launch until it was “confident of creating a strong first impression, both in terms of network quality and customer experience”.
News of further delays comes after the company, which has reportedly invested $15 billion in the rollout, said in January it would launch 4G across India by early March.