Opera Software has joined hands with mobile chipset maker MediaTek Inc to embed its mobile browser Opera Mini into low cost feature phones powered by MediaTek’s Runtime Environment (MRE).  This follows the company’s announcement last week where it had claimed that Opera Mini has 140 million unique users globally and India is now the second largest user base for its mobile browser.

This partnership effectively means that users who have a low cost phone running on Mediatek’s Runtime Environment will be be able to access the Internet through Opera Mini, which is known to compress data before delivering it to the user (the company claims to compress data by up to 90 percent), ultimately leading to a significant reduction of user’s data consumption costs, making it ideal for customers who are on a basic pay-as-you-go data plans.

MediaTek’s Runtime Environment: MRE is MediaTek’s application development platform for mobile developers and app providers to deploy services and content to low cost feature phones powered by this platform. Last month, Mediatek had inked a similar deal with Facebook to embed the latter’s services into its mobile platform solution. Before that, it had teamed up with Yahoo India to embed Yahoo’s services like Yahoo! Messenger, Mail, News, Weather, Finance, Cricket, Flickr and Answers to its mobile platform. S Mobility* (Spice) was also reportedly working on MediaTek’s MRE platform to develop mobile applications for low cost feature phones ranging between Rs 3,000 and Rs 5,000.

Opera Partnerships: For Opera, these kind of partnerships are not typically new. It has been doing similar kind of partnerships with operators like Vodafone, Tata Teleservices and MTS and domestic handset manufacturers like Micromax, Lemon, Videocon, Fly, Lava and Spice*. In fact, it had collaborated with Micromax earlier this year, to include a dedicated Opera Mini hot-key into one of its phone’s keypad. With this partnership, we assume that Opera will be further strengthening Opera Mini’s presence in the Indian market.

Disclosure: Spice Digital is an advertiser with MediaNama.