Telecom operator Aircel and handset maker Micromax are launching various bundled handset offers for Micromax 2G and 3G phones, and Aircel’s 3G dongles. Aircel says it will offer Rs 10,000 worth free WAP content over three months and a three months free subscription of its TV on mobile service Popkorn TV for Aircel subscribers on Micromax 2G and 3G phones. It will also be offering free 2GB data per month for 3G phones and 1GB data per month for three months. For 3G dongles, Aircel will be offering 500MB per month free data for three months.
Besides this, Aircel and Micromax will also be sharing its channel and retail networks, sales resources and will setup an integrated device sales activation program. Aircel Strategic Business Unit Head Sankara Narayanan K told in a press conference that all forthcoming Micromax phones will be bundled with an Aircel SIM, and Aircel will start showcasing Micromax phones across its retail stores.
This could lead to a significant boost for Aircel in terms of subscribers, since Micromax is currently one of the top handset maker in the country and has a 23% smartphone market share in India, although it’s likely that Aircel will be an option offered to Micromax customers, not be exclusively linked to the handset. From Micromax’s perspective, these partnerships would possibly help drive their handset sales.
Short Term Exclusive Deal? While the deal period was not disclosed, it looks like this partnership will be exclusive for only a short period, since both the companies are considering similar tie-ups with other companies. Aircel said that it intends to sign similar partnerships with other smartphone manufacturers while Micromax co founder Vikas Jain told Light Reading India that it will be soon forming similar partnerships with other operators.
What’s also particularly noteworthy in this partnership is the push for data adoption among consumers. With increasing adoption of smartphones, India is currently on the verge of a data revolution and the data usage is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years. This was evident from the quarterly results of Airtel, Idea Cellular, Vodafone India and RCOM which saw a significant increase in both data usage and data revenues in the previous quarter. We believe these type of partnerships have the potential to significantly increase the data adoption, since it incentivizes more subscribers to try out data services and gradually opt for higher data plans, which will drive revenues for telcos.