Guwahati, Oct 11: Bharti Airtel (Airtel), India’s largest telecommunications services provider, and Karbonn Mobiles, a popular Indian smartphone brand on Wednesday announced a partnership to bring an affordable 4G smartphone to the market, effectively at the price of a feature phone. This is the first of several partnerships that Airtel plans to have with mobile handset manufacturers to bring highly affordable bundled 4G smartphone options to the market and fulfil the digital aspirations of millions of Indians.
Under the partnership, the Karbonn A40 Indian – now comes at an effective price of just Rs. 1399 (compared to its current market price of appx. Rs. 3499). The Google Certified – Karbonn A40 Indian has a full touch screen plus dual SIM slots, and offers complete access to all apps on Google Play Store, including YouTube, Facebook and WhatsApp. The 4G smartphone is bundled with a monthly pack of Rs. 169 from Airtel, which offers generous data and calling benefits.
Director – Consumer Business and CMO, Bharti Airtel, Raj Pudipeddi said, “As the market leader and pioneer of 4G services in India, Airtel’s aspiration is to digitally empower every Indian with high speed data access. We are delighted to partner with Karbonn to remove barriers to smartphone adoption and enable millions of Indians to leapfrog to a full touchscreen smartphone experience. We plan to partner with multiple manufacturers to bring affordable smartphone options to the market and build an ‘open ecosystem’ of low cost devices. This is yet another step in our ongoing journey to deeply understand customers and bring innovation that delights them.”
The customer needs to make a down payment of Rs. 2899 for the 4G smartphone and make 36 continuous monthly recharges of Rs. 169. The customer will get a cash refund of Rs. 500 after 18 months and another Rs. 1000 after 36 months, taking the total cash benefit to Rs. 1500.
In case the customer does not wish to opt for the Rs. 169 bundled plan, she/he has the flexibility of doing recharges of any denomination and validity as per individual requirements. However, to claim the cash refund benefit, recharges worth Rs. 3000 must be done within the first 18 months (to claim the first refund installment of Rs. 500) and another Rs. 3000 over the next 18 months (to claim the second refund installment of Rs. 1000).
The ownership of the smartphone is completely with the customer and there is no need to return the device to Airtel/Karbonn at any point to claim the cash benefit.
The partnership between Airtel and Karbonn is part of Airtel’s ‘Mera Pehla 4G Smartphone’ initiative, which is aimed at enabling every Indian to buy a 4G smartphone and get on to the digital superhighway. Under the ‘Mera Pehla 4G Smartphone’ initiative, Airtel will partner with multiple mobile handset manufacturers to create an ‘open ecosystem’ of affordable 4G smartphones and bring them to market for virtually the price of a feature phone.
All smartphones under the ‘Mera Pehla 4G Smartphone’ initiative will be available at leading mobile stores across the country. After sales support for the devices will be provided by the handset manufacturers through their service network.
Airtel offers 4G/3G/2G services across all 22 telecom circles of India. Its network covers over 95% of India’s population and is supported by a deep distribution network.