Laptops with connectivity is the new idea being worked upon by Reliance Jio, which has been successful in disrupting the Indian telecom market through rock bottom pricing for data and free calls from anywhere to anywhere.
For this concept, Jio is in talks with chipmaker Qualcomm could deliver a laptop that has a provision to insert a SIM card and convert it into a cellular-connected device, reports Economic Times. The device could come with Windows 10 pre-loaded.
Qualcomm already has an ongoing association with Reliance Jio and Reliance Retail. The chipmaker has confirmed the development, though Reliance Jio is yet to officially issue any confirmation.
The intent to develop such a laptop is being attributed to increasing the average revenue per user (ARPU) for Reliance Jio. This has been an age-old problem for the telecom providers in India. They first chase the subscriptions mirage and once they have a base, they start worrying about the ARPU, since revenue and profitability depend on it.
Qualcomm, in turn, is reported to be engaging the Indian company Smartron that specializes in Internet of Things (IoT) to develop laptops that can carry their Snapdragon 835 processor. That would pave the way for the SIM card to be inserted and a smartphone cum laptop can be made available to the users.
Under a project “Always connected PCs”, Qualcomm is working with global laptop brands like HP, Asus and Lenovo for developing a similar device that may do away with the Wi-Fi router and make internet directly available, a la smart TVs that stream movies and serials from the internet.
From the service providers’ side, companies like Verizon, AT&T and Sprint of the US and many companies in Europe have also lent support to this project as it will ultimately benefit their businesses.
Observers feel that even if 20% of the 5 million laptops sold in India every year can be converted to the SIM enabled devices, the service provider could end up adding Rs 300 crore to Rs 1000 crore to their revenue depending on the tariffs they fix and the plans the customers choose. But for all stakeholders, the device makers, the cellular companies and the users, the concept would be new.