Home/ Companies / People/  Reliance Jio promises world beyond chat with new instant messaging app

Mumbai: Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (RJio) on Thursday launched Jio Chat, an instant messaging and calling app for smartphones running Android and iOS mobile operating systems.

Built on the lines of mobile apps such as WhatsApp and WeChat, which use Internet data to transmit texts, images and voice, RJio’s first product bearing the Jio brand promises more.

“We are not only competing directly with WhatsApp, but taking it beyond," said an RJio official, who did not wish to be named. The app can be used to send and receive MS Excel and MS Word files too, besides texts, images, videos and voice.

RJio plans to make the app available for Windows phones as well. For the company, which has been building its infrastructure so far, Jio Chat is the first concrete telecommunications product. Once the company rolls out its network, it will launch similar offerings such as Jio News, Jio Games, Jio Social, Jio Shopping, Jio VoLTE (voice calling and video-conferencing) and Jio Drive (cloud storage), the official cited above said.

The other features that Jio Chat offers include audio and video conference calls and file sharing to the extent of 100 MB.

It also offers a unique feature of password-protecting specific chats and hiding the “last seen" status of the user, according to the frequently asked questions (FAQ) section of the chat.

RJio has invested close to $7 billion in laying the infrastructure and an additional $5-6 billion of investment is in the offing. However, analysts have raised concern over the company’s ability to launch its 4G network on time due to problems in laying infrastructure in major cities. “...delay in launch likely but the larger game plan remains intact and potentially game-changing," said a 3 February report by brokerage Nomura Securities.

RJio has pan-India 20MHz Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum in the 2,300MHz frequency band in 22 circles and 5-7MHz spectrum in the 1,800MHz band in 14 circles. It plans to use this 1,800MHz spectrum along with its pan India 2,300MHz spectrum to provide 4G services (fourth-generation high speed telecommunications).

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Updated: 27 Apr 2015, 01:37 AM IST
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