In a bid to take on Reliance’s low-cost Jio network, Bharti Airtel has collaborated with domestic mobile phone maker Celkon to offer 4G smartphone to its subscribers at a price of Rs 1,349.
The partnership falls under Airtel's ‘Mera Pehla Smartphone' initiative, wherein Airtel aims to collaborate with device manufacturers to launch smartphones at the price of a feature phone.
The ‘Celkon Smart 4G' (currently, priced at Rs 3,500) features a 4-inch touchscreen, dual SIM slots and FM radio and is powered by Android to offer full access to all apps on Google Play Store, including YouTube, Facebook and WhatsApp.
The device will come preloaded with MyAirtel App, Wynk Music and Airtel TV to add to the online experience of customers. It comes bundled with a monthly pack of Rs 169 from Airtel, which offers generous data and calling benefits, the company said.
"We are pleased to partner with Celkon in our endeavour to bring affordable smartphone options to the market and build an ‘open ecosystem' of low cost devices. Celkon has strong brand affinity and deep distribution in southern Indian markets, and our partnership will enable us to serve a large set of customers with this affordable smartphone proposition," said Raj Pudipeddi, Director, Consumer Business & CMO, Bharti Airtel.
"Airtel's ‘Mera Pehla Smartphone' proposition has received an extremely positive response from customers and we look forward to bringing more device partners on-board in the near future," he added.
To avail this offer, a customer needs to make a down payment of Rs 2,849 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 1,000 after 36 months, taking the total cash benefit to Rs 1,500, the company said.
The ownership of the smartphone is completely with the customer and there is no need to return the device to Airtel/Celkon at any point to claim the cash benefit, the company added.