Telecom operator Aircel has tied up with the Apollo Hospital Group to launch a medical consultation on the mobile. The service, called Aircel Apollo Mobile HealthCare, will be launched in the Chennai and Tamil Nadu circles by Diwali this year, reports Rediff. A tie-up between the two companies is not surprising, particularly since the Reddy family of the Apollo Hospitals group owns around 26% stake in the telecom operator. Malaysian company Maxis owns the rest. By the end of August 2010, Aircel had a subscriber base of over 45 million.
The Hindu quotes Aircel COO Gurdeep Singh as saying that the service will be priced at Rs. 45, but, the metrics aren’t mentioned – whether per month, or per minute. The two will also eventually launch a tele-medicine facility for consultation over video for healthcare through Aircel Retail outlets. Remember that in India’s 3G Auction, Aircel won 3G spectrum in 13 circles (for Rs. 6499.46 crores) – Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kolkata, Kerala, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh (East), West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Assam, North East and Jammu & Kashmir.
This isn’t the first instance of mobile healthcare, though. Recently, Healthcare Magic tied up with Tata Indicom, for a service priced at Rs. 9 per minute. Previously Healthcare Magic had also offered the service through Loop Telecom.