January 21 2018
Bharti Airtel eyes low-priced smartphones to take on Jio
11 September 2017

Bundled with Airtel 4G connection, the phone may debut around Diwali

India’s largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel is in talks with multiple handset makers to bring a 4G smartphone for a price as low as ₹2,500—₹2,700 to take on Reliance Jio.

While Mukesh Ambani—led Jio has announced plans to offer Internet—enabled feature phone for a refundable deposit of ₹1,500, Airtel is placing its bet on a full—fledged smartphone as it believes people would be ready to shell out a little more to get a loaded handset.

A source familiar with the development said the new 4G smartphone — that will debut around Diwali — will come bundled with Airtel’s 4G connection and “attractive” data and voice plan to woo mass market customers.

The planned dual SIM 4G smartphone will sport a four-inch display, dual camera, VoLTE calling and a longer battery life. The Android handset will come with 1 GB RAM, said the source who wished not to be named.

Reliance Jio had, in July, announced that formal bookings for Jio Phone would open on August 24, while the phone itself is expected to be available from September. While details such as the name of the handset makers that Airtel is negotiating with and the exact offers on anvil are still under the wraps, it is learnt that the Sunil Mittal company will co—promote the 4G smartphone with the manufacturers.

BSNL bets on 4G VoLTE

State—owned BSNL is betting on national roll-out of 4G VoLTE services, even as it begins preparatory work on 5G to stay future-ready, a top official has said. “We are looking forward to pan-India 4G VoLTE roll out and seeking spectrum from government,” BSNL chairman and managing director Anupam Shrivastava told PTI.



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