Reliance Industries seems to have taken the Indian government’s Make in India initiative quite seriously. The company has recently asked its Taiwan-based and China-based original device manufacturers (ODM) to make its smart set-top boxes, home automation and automobile telematics devices, and its much-famous Lyf branded 4G smartphones among others in its home country, India.
Foxconn, which is the world’s largest contract manufacturer and also one of Reliance Industries’ ODM will soon start the production of VoLTE handsets for Reliance Retail’s Lyf brand of 4G smartphones in the Indian subcontinent. The company’s other manufacturers will be following Foxconn’s footsteps thereon.
According to an article by ET, “it is a contract clause for these partners to locally make/assemble their devices over a period of time. They [Reliance] have told everyone to do it.”
Foxconn has its own set of handsets that it will be manufacturing for Reliance’s Lyf. Local sourcing is expected to significantly cut down the prices of these devices. While Foxconn will be coming to India for Reliance has been established, when exactly will the production be starting is still unknown. The production of 4G handsets in India is crucial for Reliance as affordable 4G handsets will lead to a wider adoption of the group’s telecom company Reliance Jio Infocomm’s 4G mobile services.
Foxconn is expected to be the biggest partner for Jio, as nobody else can quite match up to the scale that the Taiwanese contract manufacturer has.
Foxconn had made a re-entry into the Indian smartphone market back in 2015 by setting up a mobile phone assembly plant in Sri City, Andhra Pradesh. The Taiwanese contract manufacturer has been successful in expanding to five plants with a total capacity of a good 12-13 million a year. It is currently in the process of setting up a factory in Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra with an initial investment of $20-30 million, which will be initially making mobile phones and then gradually moving on to other products.
Reliance Retail, which is retail arm of Reliance industries, is procuring its 4G VoLTE smartphones and pocket routers from a number of China-based ODMs like Wingtech, Tinno Mobile, ZTE and CK Telecom.
After securing a massive 72 million 4G mobile users in the country courtesy free data and voice services, Jio is now on the way of entering the automobile telematics sector by launching a car connected device that the telecom has been successful in developing in house. The device in question will be capable of controlling a vehicle’s movement and alert owners about fuel and battery levels whenever either of them is running low through a mobile application. This will be in addition to providing WiFi.
According to rumours going around in the industry, the hardware device will be initially imported from China, but the vendor has been instructed to start its production it in India after the initial launch is complete.
In addition to this, Jio is also in the planning stages of scaling up its fibre to the home (FTTH) project. The company has decided to run a pilot for the same in some of the Indian cities including the metro cities of Delhi and Mumbai. Jio’s FTTH service will come with JioMedia share device, smart set top box, routers and Power Line Communication devices.
These products will provide a helping hand to Jio in offering its customers a variety of services such as Video on Demand and HD TV and JioCloud offering under the home entertainment category. It also includes a landline phone service.
The FTTH project will also enable new services such as home automation that will allow users to convert basic electronic products into smart products with the installation of 6 to 7 Smart Plugs. These plugs will allow people to control their entire home right from their mobile devices.
Further, Jio is also in the midst of planning to launch a complete home surveillance suite, which will include a smart doorbell, smart lock, smart camera and chime alarm. Users will be able to manage all of these products right from their mobile devices.