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India’s Idea launches ‘affordable’ smartphones

Idea Cellular has announced a range of Android-based smartphones starting at INR 5,850 (84 euro) aimed at kick starting uptake of 3G mobile services in India, including the operator's Idea TV package.

The new smartphone range is expected to drive data penetration in India, especially in semi-urban areas, says the operator. Based on a 2.2 Android operating system, as well as mobile TV, the Idea touchscreen smartphones offer a 3.2 megapixel camera, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS navigation software, MP3 player and FM radio, social media applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Orkut, Opera mini browser, and pre-loaded Google and YouTube.

"Idea has always innovated to support the telecom services penetration in the country. In line with this commitment, Idea has introduced affordable, yet fully loaded 3G smartphones which will now fuel the aspirations of the evolving mobile user in India," said Himanshu Kapania, managing director of Idea Cellular.

"The new smartphones will further drive our existing 3G services in areas of industrial and commercial activity, centres of learning, and high potential rural hinterlands."

Idea Cellular's chief marketing officer Sashi Shankar added: "Worldwide, smartphones are witnessing rapid uptake due to their multitasking capabilities and vast range of applications. While data uptake has witnessed steady growth ever since 3G services were launched in India, the progress and proliferation will be spurred with the availability of affordable 3G devices.

"Idea 3G smartphones will not only offer the best apps and technology experience to our users, at the most affordable price points, but are also loaded with huge data benefits and free offers exclusively for Idea users."

As an introductory offer, Idea is offering data services worth INR 3,500 with its INR 259 pack, along with the new 3G smartphones. So, for the new smartphone priced at INR 5,850, an Idea 3G user will pay just INR 2,609.

The INR 259 pack also offers free subscription to Idea TV for three months, 1 GB of data download per month for three months, 3G Double Dhamaka benefits for six months, and talktime of INR 25.

Idea's 3G services are now available in the ten circles licensed to Idea Cellular, and ten other circles through roaming arrangements with leading national operators, covering a total of 1,600 towns in India.

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