New Delhi, October 12: India’s largest telecom player- Bharti Airtel on Wednesday announced a partnership with Karbonn Mobiles- a popular Indian smartphone brand to bring 4G smartphone at Rs 1399 in the Indian market ahead of the fesrtive season. This is a tough competition for Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio, whose feature phone- the JioPhone is priced at Rs 1,500. Karbonn Mobiles, a domestic company along with Airtel will bring an affordable 4G smartphone to the market to counter Jio’s disruptive offers.

The Karbonn smartphone that Airtel is using is the Karbonn A40 and comes with dual SIM slots. 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 fulfill the digital aspirations of millions of Indians. At an effective price of Rs 1399, Airtel now plans to counter Jio by bringing 4G smartphone bundled with an attractive monthly recharge pack and cash back benefits. The Android-based 4G smartphone comes with full touchscreen experience, dual SIM slots and access to all popular apps like YouTube, WhatsApp, and Facebook.

“The customer needs to make a down-payment of Rs 2,899 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 Airtel statement said explaining its claim of Rs 1,399 effective pricing.

The Karbonn A40 Indian which has a retail price of Rs 3,499 will be sold to consumers for an upfront payment of Rs 2,899. “The customer needs to make a down-payment of Rs 2,899 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 Airtel statement said explaining its claim of Rs 1,399 effective pricing. The recharge of Rs 169 every month is believed to offer customers with unlimited voice calls and 500 MB data every day.

As per reports, Karbonn A40 Indian has a full touchscreen 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.

Raj Pudipeddi, Director-Consumer Business & CMO, Bharti Airtel 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”, Pudipeddi added.  He said that Airtel’s aspiration is to digitally empower every Indian with high-speed data access.

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. 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 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, a release by Airtel mentioned.