DataWind Partners With BSNL To Offer Free Internet For A Year
Datawind, which manufactures low cost tablets Akash has partnered with BSNL to offer free one year Internet to all its users. This offer is only for their UbiSlate 7Cz and UbiSlate 3G7 tablet buyers.
Additionally, they have also inked a deal with UniverCell, which has more than 500 retail outlets in South India. Both of these deals have come at the right time, as Datawind is making up plans to use Rs 168 crore which has been raised via IPO launch in Canada few days back.
Datawind’s primary customers are from rural India, where Internet penetration is pretty dismal. Often BSNL is the only service provider offering connectivity in most of the areas. By collaborating with BSNL, Datawind has ensured that their customers get Internet connectivity even in rural areas. This is certainly a smart strategic move to improve user experience in rural areas of India.
Datawind already has over 18 patents filed in US and other countries for making Internet access fast even with slow connectivity. Their proprietary acceleration technology can reduce bandwidth consumption by 20 times on the basic Internet coverage, which works like a charm in a rural area.
Expansion in South India
Along with free Internet for a year from BSNL, Datawind has also partnered with Univercell to expand its presence in South India. Univercell is a large chain of retail outlets in South India, where customers can now buy Akash tablets. As of now, Datawind products are only available via ecommerce portals or home shopping networks. With this partnership, Datawind can make their presence felt via retail outlets and can make inroads into the strategically important market of South India.
Rapid expansion mode after IPO launch
Few weeks back, Datawind had launched an IPO at Toronto Stock Exchange, Canada, where they have successfully raised Rs 168 crore or 30 million Canadian dollars. The IPO was closed on July 8th. Now, with this funds in their kitty, Datawind plans rapid expansion across India.
Datawind CEO Suneet Singh Tuli recently said, “Our IPO on the TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange) represents a major milestone for Datawind and gives us the resources to implement the next stage of our vision to bring the internet to billions of unconnected people in the developing world.”
Due to their pursuit of delivering cheap technological access to millions of unconnected people in India, MIT Technology Review has placed Datawind in their list of “World’s 50 Smartest Companies”.
With dwindling Tablet sales in India, partially due to rise of Phablets, there is some concern regarding the future of expensive tablet makers. But with these interesting offers and partnerships, Datawind can revive the sale of tablets in India, provided their hardware can support the expectations.