RComm in talks with handset cos for android phones

Written by Rachana Khanzode | Mumbai | Updated: May 5 2010, 03:18am hrs
To shore up its revenues from mobile wireless Internet usage, the countrys second-largest telecom operator, Reliance Communications (RComm) has entered into talks with handset makers, including Samsung, LG and Motorola, for procuring smartphones based on Android operating systems.

Android is an operating system developed by the Open Handset Alliance, a business alliance of over 50 firms, including Google, HTC, Intel, Motorola, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, Samsung and LG, to develop open standards for mobile devices. Following the roll-out of its Android bouquet, RComm will be the only other operator besides Airtel to offer smartphone options across all segments.

RComm plans to procure about 3 lakh Android smartphones in the GSM and CDMA space, with an estimated investment of about Rs 500 crore in the next three months.

Besides, RComm is also expected to be in talks with Nokia to launch its Nokia Messaging Services (NMS) on its network. The NMS services will provide direct access to push enabled-email services of Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo as well as support SME-hosted email solutions for corporate subscriber base.

Mahesh Prasad, president, marketing, RComm said, In the last two quarters, the adoption of smartphones has witnessed a surge. We have seen sales of smartphones including Blackberry on our network increase manifold. Currently, RComm offers bundled handsets across operating systems like Symbian, Blackberry and Windows Mobile smartphones.

Growth of smartphones will certainly drive up data revenues, Prasad said.

The firm intends to introduce fresh voice and data bundled plans across its existing portfolio of smartphones. These new offers are aimed at high-end post-paid and pre-paid customers.

We also plan to offer bundled Android handsets during the first quarter of this fiscal, he added.