To counter Reliance Jio's JioPhone, other leading telecom operators including Airtel, BSNL, Idea Cellular are planning to launch a new 4G VoLTE feature phone in the Indian market. The Jio phone is locked for three years. BSNL does have 4G VoLTE services live as yet. 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. BSNL said that users will get unlimited voice calling and internet services at just Rs 97 per month.
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Micromax in collaboration with state-owned telecom operator BSNL has launched its first 4G-enabled Bharat 1 on Tuesday to take on Reliance's JioPhone, which has finally started reaching buyers.
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From the looks of it, the Micromax Bharat-1 feature phone looks like one of the old dumb handsets that were in fashion a decade ago, but inside the device are modern hardware modules. The Micromax and BSNL partnership will allow the users to experience low-priced data and enjoy unlimited voice calling facility and Internet services at just Rs. 97 per month. So, BSNL has introduced a tariff plan of Rs. 97 that gives unlimited calls and data for 28 days.
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With "Bharat 1", Micromax and BSNL are aiming to provide a 4G phone to India's 500 million population that does not have access to the Internet. The company wanted to watch the "Chinaman" exhaust their resources, Rahul Sharma, co-founder of Micromax said in a recent media event. Three years down the line, the Bharat-1 will cost customers Rs. 5,692, while the Jio Phone cost them Rs. 6,008 during the same period. The advanced 4G phone has a 2.4-inch display and is powered by a Snapdragon processor. It has 4GB storage that can also be expanded with a microSD card. In terms of optics, there is a 2MP rear camera and VGA selfie camera. The device also comes with the UPI app for digital payment. It has support for 4G LTE, VoLTE, and support for 22 Indian languages. On the battery front, the handset sips its power from a decent 2,000mAh battery. During the launch, the company said that the Bharat 1 is a completely Made in India phone. 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.
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