snapdeal_aircelAircel has tied-up with Snapdeal to offer free 3GB of data over the first three months for both 3G and 2G devices bought from the e-commerce website. This offer will be redeemable by both new and existing Aircel customers through a code, that will be provided by Snapdeal during the promo period.

Snapdeal will mail the code to the customer within 3 days after the delivery of the device and the customer can then activate the service by activating it via SMS. The promo is available for only prepaid customers and it will end if the SIM is switched from one slot to another in the same device or to a new device. It will not be possible to reinitiate the promo either.

Aircel had 66.91 million connections as of December 2013 and it had signed a similar deal with Micromax last year. It had offered 2GB data per month and Rs 10,000 worth free WAP content over three months, apart from a three months free subscription of its TV on mobile service Popkorn TV.  Samsung had also signed a similar deal with Idea for free data earlier this month.

It’s not clear if Aircel plans to tie-up with other e-commerce companies in the future, but it definitely gives Snapdeal — which had raised $133.7 million in a round led by eBay recently — a distinguishing factor. All said, it is an interesting way to acquire customers for both the companies, but the biggest problem for Aircel will be getting these new customers to stay with them. Only 64.22% of its connections are active as opposed to the big three telcos who have active percentage in the high 90s.

Such a deal helps Snapdeal stand out in an otherwise crowded market. Its competitor Flipkart has taken the exclusivity road to attract customers and recently became the exclusive seller for Moto G when the phone launched in India. It is also exclusively selling Karbonn’s Kochadaiyaan series mobile phones and is running a contest through which the winner gets to meet Rajinikanth. Amazon meanwhile is rapidly expanding operations in India, by adding a new category every month.