New handset co Lava International has announced a 3 year association with Singapore based TV Channel National Geographic: all Lava handsets will come preloaded with NatGeo Channel content content & applications, allowing customers to access wallpapers and ringtones being made available by the channel; it’s an exclusive deal. From the press release, we haven’t been able to ascertain whether the content will be available for free, or be paid for users. We haven’t really heard about such pre-loaded content deals for a while: the action appears to have shifted to applications. The other thing is – no offence to NatGeo – but does that content really fly in India?

Then again, it’s a three year deal, and this partnership could be expanded to include paid access to NatGeo videos on 3G. As we’d reported earlier, the Tata Docomo is probably going to be the first private telco launching 3G operations in India by November 5th.