MUMBAI/NEW DELHI: Mobile phone users in India, especially the millions who use feature phones, could be in for a bonanza.
Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, the top three operators, are working with handset companies to make 4G smartphones drastically cheaper than feature phones – maybe as low as Rs 500 – and offer them with bundled voice and data plans for Rs 60-70 a month.
The approach is different from Reliance Jio Infocomm’s strategy of subsidising 4G feature phones and is aimed at countering the latest Rs 49 a month plan for JioPhone users, which may attract a massive chunk of their voice subscribers.
While low-cost smartphones bundled with voice and data plans will hurt average revenue per user (APRU) in the near term, the telcos hope to retain …