Canada-based low-cost tablet and smartphone manufacturer Datawind will launch a 4G device early next year. The device will be available for just Rs. 3,000. At the same time, the company will offer free Internet browsing for 12 months with it.
No doubt, at a price tag of Rs. 3,000, the device will be lowest among 4G handsets. Because, currently, the cheapest 4G-enabled handset comes for over Rs. 4,000.
Here, it is noteworthy that Datawind came in to the limelight when it manufactured the world’s cheapest tablet in India called ‘Aakash’ in 2012 for a government-backed initiative.
Datawind President and CEO Suneet Singh Tuli told PTI, “We will launch a 4G device for about Rs 3,000 with free unlimited 4G browsing for 12 months”. He further said, “Datawind is in talks with various mobile operators for the 4G device. The company already has partnerships with Reliance Communications and Telenor for the free 2G and 3G Internet browsing”.
However, the CEO of Datawind clarified that the offer will not valid for free downloads and videos for which one will have to buy regular 4G plans by operators.
The 4G mobile phone services has already been launched by Bharti Airtel and it, now, covers over 350 towns while, Vodafone has started it with Kochi, which will be followed by Mumbai, Delhi and other metros by March.
On the other hand, Reliance Jio is likely to start 4G voice and data services in December, whereas, Idea Cellular is planning to launch 4G services in 750 towns across 10 circles by the first half of 2016.
Asked if Datawind offering free Internet bundled with devices violates the principle of net neutrality, Tuli said it was not the case, as it is not discriminating among websites.
He said what they are doing is perfectly net neutral as they are offering free Internet browsing and people can access any website they want to without paying data charges for browsing.
The company, he said, is making money through advertisements.