Idea, Vodafone to join competition to offer cheaper 4G smartphones


After head-to-head competition in the data space since the launch of Reliance Jio, the major operators in the country seem prepared for yet another fight. Reliance Jio had recently launched JioPhone at ₹1500, which comes at effective price of ₹0 if regularly used for a period of 3 months. Countering Jio’s move, Airtel too announced a smartphone which was priced at ₹1399 effectively. The smartphone by Airtel, manufactured by Karbonn provides a touch screen interface and bigger screen as compared to JioPhone.

However, if the latest reports are to be believed, then Vodafone and Idea have also planned to partner with Indian smartphone brands such as Lava and Karbonn to offer cheaper 4G smartphones. According to sources, the official announcement might take place soon and the two major indian telecom operators will give a touch fight to the already launched variants with agressive pricing, expected to be below ₹1500.

Vodafone and Idea have been discussing terms of a merger and the proposed merger will create the largest telecom operator of the country. Vodafone and Idea, will collectively try to woo a customer base of over 500 million users who are without a smartphone yet.

Sources from the smartphone manufacturers like Lava and Karbonn have confirmed the developments and added that the companies are in talks with the telecom operators and a deal is expected to be finalised before Diwali.

Vodafone has already signed a deal with China based itel for providing feature phones. However, accordign to sources, the companies are now keen on providing smartphones with touch access to the users. The new negotiations taking place with Lava and Karbonn are for low end 4G smartphones and this will not violate their agreement with the Chinese manufacturer.