Reliance to Launch 4G Smartphones Under 'Lyf' Brand

Reliance to Launch 4G Smartphones Under 'Lyf' Brand
Reliance Retail, part of the Reliance Industries group, said Friday it will soon launch its own brand of 4G LTE smartphones under the brand Lyf.

In an emailed statement, Reliance Retail said the brand is "built on the premise of unmatched user experience will offer high performance handsets that deliver a true 4G experience comparable to the best in the world."

To that end, Reliance Retail said the Lyf range of smartphones will come with features like voice over LTE (VoLTE), voice over Wi-Fi (VoWi-FI), as well as HD voice and HD quality video calling. The company has earlier talked about launching 4G smartphones at Rs. 4,000 and offering services at Rs. 300 per month.

Apart from Reliance Retail, the Lyf brand of smartphones will be available through a wider distribution and retail network including multi-brand outlets.

Earlier this month, Reliance Industries (which owns Reliance Jio Infocomm) and Reliance Communications announced a partnership to trade and share mobile airwaves to offer high-speed 4G services.

With this partnership, the once-feuding Ambani brothers have taken another step in working together after their father Dhirubhai Ambani's death in 2002 led to a power struggle between his two sons that split the Reliance empire.

Mukesh Ambani, the country's richest man, controls Reliance Industries, while Reliance Communications, India's fourth-biggest mobile phone carrier, is controlled by his younger brother Anil.

Reliance Communications and Reliance Industries' telecoms unit, Jio, have entered into business tie-ups in the last couple of years that included sharing of mobile masts and leasing of optic fibre network.

At the announcement, Anil Ambani told his company's shareholders that the latest partnership would allow Reliance Communications to access 4G mobile networks of Jio, which, in turn, can use the former's 2G and 3G networks when needed.

Jio won 4G mobile airwaves in 2010 and is expected to start nationwide commercial services by end of this year, joining leading Indian carriers Bharti Airtel Ltd and Vodafone Group Plc's India unit.

Reliance Communications will also enter into a pact with Jio for trading and sharing of 4G mobile airwaves, said Anil, whose empire includes infrastructure and financial services companies. 4G typically offer customers faster Internet browsing speed.

Written with inputs from Reuters

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