MTS, the Russian operator with a Pan India license, will offer a free HTC Android handset free with new connections if customers agree for a minimum bill size of Rs 1,500 every month.
The company is the first player in India to offer the ‘American style’ bundling facility.
Almost none of the Indian operators offer handsets along with the connections due to difficulties in tracing people and the lack of credit tracking mechanism in the country.
Unlike in the US, consumers can effectively ‘walk away’ with their handsets and not pay the monthly bills, leaving the operator in the lurch.
MTS, however, said the company will take care to offer the facility only to creditworthy individuals who pass certain requirements.
“We will of course do the necessary credit checks,” MTS’s India head Vsevolod Rozanov said, announcing the deal.
In return for the commitment of Rs 1,500 a month, the customer will get 1,500 minutes of calls (worth Rs 900), 1,500 SMS (worth Rs 750) and 1.5 GB of data transfer (worth Rs 700) every month.
The handset, called HTC Pulse, is only one of the several that the company will offer for free. It plans to offer “3 to 4” such handsets in the coming months, including those from Micromax, Samsung and other vendors.
MTS, however, will not offer cheaper phones under the scheme as it wants to target only ‘credit worthy’ individuals. The three phones will be priced above Rs 10,000 while the Pulse is priced at Rs 16,000.