State-owned telecom operator BSNL has launched its first-ever 4G VoLTE feature phone in association with Micromax. With the Bharat 1, both BSNL and Micromax are aiming to target India’s 500 million plus population that is still aloof from the connected world. Bharat 1 is priced at Rs 2200 and will be available in the market from October 20. BSNL does have 4G VoLTE services live as yet.
Taking cues from the JioPhone, Bharat 1 is a 4G VoLTE ready feature phone. The advanced 4G phone has a 2.4-inch display and is powered by a Snapdragon processor. The Dual SIM 4G device comes with 512MB RAM and 4GB ROM. It is backed by a 2000mAH battery inside and even features two cameras; 2MP on the back and a VGA quality shooter in the front. Bharat 1 also comes with the support for 22 different languages. Bharat 1 will be completely manufacture in India.
BSNL says Bharat 1 will come bundled with the Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) mobile app pre-loaded on the device. The phone will also come a suite of services from BSNL, along with an option to watch live TV on the phone. Since the Bharat 1 is targeted at the feature phone market, BSNL is going aggressive with the data plan. The telco says users will get unlimited call and internet services at Rs 97 per month.
“Both Micromax and BSNL have been working with an aim to bring the next wave of unconnected users on the Internet,” said Rahul Sharma, Co-founder Micromax. “We will now take this vision forward with Bharat 1 and create a compelling proposition for the users that is a first in the category.”
“We are proud that we are partnering with Micromax, a home-grown player which has been a key player in India’s growth journey and has contributed more than 150 million mobile users and this number is ever increasing,” said Anupam Srivastava, CMD, BSNL. “Connecting the last mile– to the Internet and relevant information – is an important part of the strategy for both BSNL and Micromax. We are confident that Bharat 1 will help millions of users experience the data and calling experience like never before,” added Srivastava.
Bharat 1 will not be restricted to BSNL’s network. The phone can be used on any network, which means a user can put an Airtel SIM into the device. This should be seen as a big advantage over the JioPhone, which is currently restricted to the Jio network.