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Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Sep 27, 2017

BSNL and Micromax team up to fight JioPho with 'Bharat One'

Indian telecom markets have been shaken up from the bottom with the entry of big bully Jio. Led by RIL's Mukesh Ambani, Jio entered the market late; but it did with homework done and some good cash in pockets. Jio's latest offering, the JioPhone is being marketed as the 'free' phone where the user pays Rs. 1500 to get the phone with an assurance of full refund after a period of three years. The phone is locked to Jio's 4G VoLTE network and the user can't switch to other telecom operator.

Jio's rivals have been figuring out a way to stop the mass exodus of their existing customers to Jio. The latest update hints at Micromax teaming up with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to launch a new phone, called 'Bharat One'. The Bharat One phone will compete with JioPhone with its Rs. 2000 price tag and we learn that it will be equipped with 4G features similar to that of the JioPhone.

According to report published in ET, multiple sources from BSNL and Micromax have confirmed the development and have informed that the phone will be launched with lots of freebies. The launch of the Bharat One phone is being timed at the Diwali season when most of the Indian consumers spend money.

jiophone-bsnl-micromax-bharat-one

The Indian market for feature phone is huge. Micromax executive said that with Bharat One, the company will aim to capture a share of the market. It's estimated that there will be about 500 million feature phone users in India. Bharat One phone has been designed to appeal to these users with a larger screen size than JioPhone and better battery backup. We learn that the camera on the phone will be superior than that of JioPhones'.

It's important to note that BSNL has still not rolled out Voice over LTE services in India. We learned that BSNL has been privately testing the technology. Jio has a clear advantage over other rivals with its pan-India VoLTE license and a solid fibre network they invested in since the start of the decade.

BSNL, however, has been offering mobile plans that stand directly against Jio's. We'll keep you posted about latest developments on Bharat One. Until then, let us know if you think how can BSNL and other Jio rivals like Airtel, Idea and Vodafone can retain their market share.

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