Bharti forays into mobile handset business

September 19th, 2010 - 6:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Facebook New Delhi, Sep 19 (IANS) India’s top telecom services provider Bharti group Sunday entered the country’s mobile handset market, launching eight triple SIM phones priced between Rs.1,750-7,000.
Beetel Teletech, a subsidiary Bharti Enterprises, launched

the “Beetel” range of phones that includes “a gaming QWERTY phone, triple SIM offering GSM+GSM+CDMA, the first phone to house a complete movie and a 3G phone with an exceedingly well designed and easy user interface.”

The phones will offer a bouquet of value added services including popular social networking applications such as Facebook, a mobile commerce partner NgPay and a mobile portal browser.

“Through our range of product offerings we intend to address the value for money seeking Indian consumer who is keen on having innovative technology coupled with design features at attractive prices,” said Vinod Sawhny, chief exeuctive, Beetel Teletech.

In the first phase, the Beetel mobile phones will be available through a nationwide distribution network of over 4,000 outlets across Delhi, Haryana, UP, Uttaranchal, Rajasthan, Punjab and the seven North Eastern States.

The company plans to establish its presence across India by the end of the current fiscal.

The phones powered by GPRS technology will allow users to make free calls and send messages.

As per Industry estimates, mobile handset industry has grown exponentially with 108 million mobile phones sold in the country in 2009-10, resulting in sales of Rs.27,000 crore as against Rs. 25,910 crore during the previous year.

Faster growth is expected in the coming years as the mobile replacement market that currently stands at 55 percent, is expected to reach 70 percent by 2010, according to Boston Consulting Group.

Bharti’s entry into the cluttered handset market will add to the worries of mobile manufacturing majors, Nokia and Samsung, whose margins have come under increasing pressure in recent months from Chinese and smaller Indian mobile firms.

According to the Voice&Data 100 Indian Telecom Survey, these Indian brands strengthened their presence in the domestic handset market in 2009-10, growing at the expense of market leader Nokia. Even though the Finnish company’s remained the leading seller of mobiles in India, its share came down to 52.2 percent from 64 per cent last year.

The mobile handset market grew 4.2 percent by revenue during the last fiscal compared to 7.9 percent in 2008-09. Around 108 million mobile phones were sold in the country during 2009-10, adding up to Rs 27,000 crore sales, up from Rs 25,910 crore the previous year.

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