BSNL has tied up with DataMail for providing free local language email ids to its customers. This will include emails in Hindi, Gujarati, Urdu, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali and Marathi, and will have the domain extension of @DataOne.Bharat.

DataMail already provides email services in these local languages but with its own domain extension for email IDs. With this tie up, BSNL will essentially be registering email customers on its own domain, rather than with DataMail. However, DataMail will likely handle the entire service given that BSNL even asks users to download the DataMail app for accessing or registering for the email service.

The service should be beneficial for both sides: BSNL gets to offer its customers something unique without having to build it itself, while DataMail gets access to BSNL’s customers. Note that the email provider, which launched paid Indic language email services in August, had launched in the Russian language earlier this month. The company has since switched to providing its services for free. Other than the Indic languages, its platform also claims to support Arabic and Chinese characters.

Other than DataMail and now BSNL, Yahoo also provides mail in seven Indian languages, including Hindi, Gujarati, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Marathi.

Interestingly, in August, the Indian government had told email service providers to provide users with addresses in Indian languages, starting with Hindi. It also wanted ‘sufficient local language content and tools to access it’ in order to increase internet penetration and push higher rural adoption. This was needed because English speakers and readers in the country were low (10.35%), according to Rajiv Bansal, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Electronics and IT.

Indic languages on handsets too:

In June, the Bureau of Indian Standards said that mobile handsets in India would need to support typing in Hindi and English, and reading in all 22 official Indian languages. We’d pointed out at the time that this was essential for growth of access to the internet for handsets in order to access content in users’ local languages.

Image source: Flickr user Atos under CC BY-SA 2.0