Earlier this year, Datawind revealed its plans to launch affordable smartphones in India. The company, known for developing Aakash tablets, is hosting an event on March 17 in New Delhi, where it plans to launch these smartphones.
As per reports, these smartphones will be priced around Rs 3,000, and in line with the country’s Digital India initiative, will also come bundled with free Internet connection. In order to offer free Internet, Datawind will also be announcing a partnership with a network operator next week.
“We are in talks with a private operator to launch mobile phones with free basic Internet services for one year to start with,” Datawind founder and CEO Suneet Singh Tuli said. “We have raised around Rs 150 crore through our public offer and all that is earmarked for this project.”
The smartphones priced close to Rs 3,000 will feature 3G support, 4-inch display, 1.2GHz processor, and run on Android KitKat. There will also be a cheaper variant, which will come with 2G support. As mentioned above, both these smartphones will come bundled with free Internet for a year.
This isn’t the first time Datawind has offered free Internet connectivity to its users. Last year, it announced that those buying the company’s Ubislate tablets through South Indian retail chain UniverCell, will get free Internet for a year.
Recently companies are doing their part to increase Internet penetration in India by offering free connectivity. As a part of Facebook’s Internet.org, it partnered RCom to provide free access to as many as 33 websites. Opera announced App Max, which essentially lets users access select Android apps at no data charges. Google too is said to be working on zero-rating plans, wherein it partners carriers and developers to lower or eliminate the data usage and data charges.