India's second largest telecom operator Reliance communications (RCom) on Friday has begun offering 50 percent discounts on its 3G data packs for iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 users, along with bundled offers like free voice minutes and free Facebook access.
In a pact signed with Apple Inc on Thursday, the Anil Ambani-owned operator seems to have also struck a deal to sell the high-end smartphone at Reliance Mobile stores and also to provide buyers with 'Premium phone numbers'.
RCom is giving four 3G data plans to choose from; the cheapest has a monthly fee of ₹304 with 2GB of 3G data and free voice calls worth ₹100. The second plan comes for ₹504 per month that would give ₹200 worth of voice calls and 3GB of 3G data for free. The highest plan comes with a monthly fee of ₹1,004 a month and offers ₹500 worth of calls and 10GB of 3G data.
iPhone users will also get free three month access to Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp services. Additional benefits on data usage for Facetime service on iPhone will also be given.
These 3G data benefits are applicable to both pre-paid and post-paid customers as well as existing iPhone users. The packages are available for a lifetime as long as users stick to their iPhones, which Reliance can check using the mobile TAC (Type Allocation Code - the initial eight digit of the mobile's IMEI code).
RCom has left the retail prices for iPhone 5 unchanged. The 16GB version is available for ₹45,500, 32GB at ₹52,500 and 64GB for ₹59,500.
The tie-up is Apple's third major tie-up in the country, after Aircel and Airtel which provide GSM technology-based networks. But the pact with RCom marks the company's efforts to introduce the CDMA-based iPhone to the country for the first time, reported Economic Times.
Apart from Apple, RCom had already signed pacts with other global handset players like Samsung, Nokia Blackberry and a few others.
Speaking of RCom's aim to reach a wider audience in the country, Gurdeep Singh, chief executive (wireless business), Reliance Communications told ET: "There will be around 140 million more smart phone users in India over the next two or three years. We are gunning to get 40 million of them."