Airtel Offers Cashback on Phones Before Jio Budget Device Launch
(Bloomberg) -- Bharti Airtel Ltd. unveiled a cashback offer on over 150 budget smartphones from leading brands ahead of billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. introducing its Google co-engineered budget handset before the Hindu festival of Diwali in November.
To avail the 6,000 rupees ($80) cashback on smartphones priced as much as 12,000 rupees, a customer will need to buy a so-called prepaid mobile services pack of 249 rupees or above continuously for 36 months, India’s No.2 wireless phone operator said in a statement Friday. The customer will receive the cashback in two parts - 2,000 rupees after 18 months and 4,000 rupees after 36 months.
Ambani’s technology services company Jio Platforms Ltd. said last month it and Google have made considerable progress toward launching a budget smartphone - JioPhone Next -- and are actively working to make it available in time for the Diwali festive season. Both have indicated plans to achieve a breakthrough price for the proposed smartphone.
The cashback offer is expected to intensify competition in a market that was disrupted by Reliance Jio’s entry in 2016 with free calls and cheap data leaving many incumbents to exit, merge or file for bankruptcy.
Airtel said if a customer opts for a device priced at 6,000 rupees, they can get back their entire investment.
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