Reliance Communications (RCOM) has inked a deal with GetJar, one of the worlds largest independent mobile applications stores, to make available over 65,000 free mobile apps in India via its on-deck platform R-World. According to the statement, RCOM will offer GetJar in India at Rs. 0.50 per MB of usage to customers, while the application download and use by itself will be free of cost.

This marks GetJar’s entry into the Indian market. Interestingly, Ilja Laurs, founder and CEO of GetJar says in the release that GetJar is the fourth most visited mobile site in India. So the demand, if this is true, is already there. What we’d like to know, though, is whether exclusivity is a part of the deal: can GetJar tie up with other telcos in India?

GetJar claims 2 million application downloads a day, and according to a report it commissioned, the number of mobile app downloads in expected to increase from 7 billion in 2009 to 50 billion (a nice round figure) by 2010, at a Compounded Annual Gross Rate (CAGR) of 92 percent.

RCOM’s Strategy

RCOM is taken an open approach to its Applications store service, including an apps store named RWorld2.0, and GetJar’s third party service offering over 65,000 mobile applications in all. What we don’t know, is whether RCOM will be open to other application service providers coming on board. RCOM, like most other telecom operators in India, is looking to increase data traffic on its network, as well as sale of other services through the use of free applications (a freemium model?).

Though RCOM gives GetJar access to a consumer base of around 100 million subscribers across GSM and CDMA (mostly CDMA, though), one cant be too certain about exactly how many of RCOM’s rather low ARPU customers have handsets capable of running and installing apps.

Nevertheless, tying up with a large independent applications store is a positive move by RCOM, and we hope they’ll remain “open” and not try and control the content mix on the applications store. GetJar has partnerships with other telecom operators, including Sprint, Sony Ericsson, 3UK, The Carphone Warehouse and Virgin Mobile France.

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