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Reliance Jio And Qualcomm Working On Making Laptops With Cellular Connectivity

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| April 13 , 2018 , 16:22 IST

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio is reportedly making a new technology Jio laptop with SIM card and 4G feature. The company has held talks with US chipmaker Qualcomm to bring out laptops running the Windows 10 operating system with an inbuilt cellular connection for the Indian market. Qualcomm is already closely working with Jio and Reliance Retail for the 4G feature phone.

“We have talked to Jio. They could take the device and bundle it with data and content,” Miguel Nunes, senior director, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, told ET.

Homegrown Internet of Things brand, Smartron is also working with Qualcomm to bring laptops powered by with cellular connectivity.

"Since we already have tbook line of computing products, we are always exploring innovative form factors and devices where we can bring tronX experiences, services, solutions, and support to users," said Mahesh Lingareddy, Smartron's founder and CEO.

Also ReadCompetition For Reliance Jio? Leading Operators Plan 4G Smartphone For Rs 500 

As per Counterpoint data, close to five million laptops are sold every year in India with most of them connecting to either enterprise or home or public WiFi spots.

"So if these productivity-centric devices are connected to cellular networks, it will boost the value proposition, driving growth for this segment: first, by providing ubiquitous connectivity on the go and, second, in terms of privacy and security as the cellular connectivity is highly secure compared to WiFi hotspots," said Neil Shah, research director, devices & ecosystems at Counterpoint Research.

Counterpoint Research further mentioned that even if operators can connect a million laptops, that is only 20% of the total sold in a year, to 4G networks by end of next year and can charge Rs 300 to Rs 1,000 per month, operators could generate monthly revenue of Rs 30 crore or close to Rs 360 crore. It could touch Rs 1000 crore a year from these users only.

Qualcomm's Nunes said, "We are trying to make sure that the operators understand the value. It’s new for the OEMs, new for the operators, and new for the channel.”

Globally, Qualcomm is already working with players such as HP, Asus and Lenovo for the so-called “Always Connected PCs”. Besides, Nunes said that there are now 14 operators that have extended their support for this new category, including the US’ Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and major carriers in Germany, Italy, the UK, France, and Australia.