Published: Wed, October 18, 2017
Science | By Cecil Little

BSNL, Micromax launch Bharat 1 4G VoLTE feature phone at Rs 2200

BSNL, Micromax launch Bharat 1 4G VoLTE feature phone at Rs 2200

The state-owned telco has announced an aggressively priced data plan, with users getting unlimited calls and Internet at just Rs 97 per month.

It will be available across the country from all retail stores starting October 20.

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The "effective cost" of using the Micromax Bharat-1 will be Rs. 3,364, compared to Rs. 3,336 that a user of Jio Phone would spend on the device, Sharma said. Unlike the Jio Phone though, the Bharat-1 is not locked to a particular network. Under the hood is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 205 chipset with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of onboard storage. In terms of camera, the BSNL mobile has a 2-megapixel rear camera and a VGA camera at the front. That said if you pay Rs. 2,200, the feature phone will be all yours, and you can use the device with any network, including Reliance Jio. Micromax says Bharat 1 users can access live TV, music, movies, and videos via company's Entertainment app as the device comes pre-loaded with Micromax entertainment apps. Homegrown telecom operator BSNL plans to tap this market in partnership with Micromax.

Micromax Bharat 1 comes in a similar form factor as that of the JioPhone.

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Nevertheless, Micromax and BSNL's Bharat 1 is expected to face tough competition from Reliance Jio and Airtel. While users have to pay an amount of Rs. 1,500 for the JioPhone, Airtel is costing Rs. 2,899 from the customers who're looking to purchase its Airtel 4G Smartphone aka Karbonn A40 Indian.

The partnership of Micromax and BSNL will truly help the Indian consumers be digitally connected and make their experience more affordable and accessible, the companies said.

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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. "We are confident that Bharat-1 will help millions of users experience data and calling experience like never before", Anupam Srivastava, Chairman and Managing Director, BSNL, said. Like the JioPhone, Bharat 1 offers customers "unlimited voice" and high-speed data at an affordable price.

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