April 26, 2018

Reliance Jio planning to launch always connected PCs with Qualcomm

13 April 2018, 11:58 | Lucia Cruz

Reliance Jio’s Rs 299 and Rs 349 plan come with longer validity compared to Airtek’s new plans

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However, these laptops with cellular connectivity from Jio may not be powered by Intel processors, and may come with Qualcomm's Snapdragon chips. Reliance Jio is reportedly planning to enter the laptop market.

Last year, Microsoft launched always-connected PCs from Asus and HP with Snapdragon 835 chipset and Windows 10 under the hood. The move to launch self-branded laptops is said to be targeted at increasing its average revenue per user (ARPU).

At a December event in Hawaii previous year, Qualcomm detailed plans for Always Connected PCs powered by its Snapdragon 835 mobile platform.

The Mukesh Ambani-led Jio has held talks with USA chip major Qualcomm to bring out laptops running the Windows 10 operating system with built-in cellular connections for the Indian market. The latter has confirmed that it's held discussions with the telecom brand, suggesting that the company will bundle the device with data and content.

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Qualcomm, which is already working with Jio and Reliance Retail on 4G feature phones, is working on similar laptop-with-SIM-card models elsewhere. The Internet is the backbone of nearly every computing and smart devices. Well, laptops with built-in cellular connectivity options would actually be appealing to a lot many, because with the current laptops, we have to either plug-in a 3G/4G dongle or connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot to get Internet connectivity on the laptop. The budget 4G laptop will come bundled with a Jio data pack.

No other telecom provider has such an enormous presence in consumer electronics as Reliance.

Jio, which didn't respond to ET's queries, already has a device play in the country through its sister company, Reliance Retail, which sells MiFi dongles, LYF smartphones and 4G feature phone. Reliance Jio knows about all kinds of devices which are accessing Jio's 4G data and hence knows the internet usage patterns, now this development will expand its reach to laptops as well which will help it in predictive analysis on how the data is being consumed.

Other benefits include instant boot-up, better privacy, and security through integrated mobile connectivity instead of relying on public Wi-Fi hotspots. Plus, laptop users generally require more data. What is being offered would be new for network providers, for OEMs and also for the users.

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