Micromax Bharat 1: BSNL’s 4G Feature Phone, Unlimited Calling & Data At Rs. 97
BSNL becomes the latest entrant in this new phenomenon of offering affordable low-spec'd phones with bundled tariff plans
Micromax has finally launched their much awaited bundled phone, Micromax Bharat 1, which is a VoLTE enabled 4G feature phone. Micromax has partnered with BSNL, who is offering this phone with bundled tariff plans.
BSNL and Micromax are branding the Micromax Bharat 1 as ‘Desh ka 4Gfone’. It is being touted as the true competitor to Reliance’s Jio Phone. As of now, the best part about this phone is its price and availability.
The phone will be available at a price of Rs. 2,200/- and can be purchased at authorized retail stores starting from 20th October.
While the Bharat 1 is being positioned as Jio Phone’s competitor, it scores major points over the Jio phone in following areas;
- Even though it is costlier than the Jio phone, there are no conditions like return policy. When you buy this phone, it is yours for as long as you want to use it.
- Also, this phone is not locked to any network, including BSNL. You can use the phone with any SIM card, even Jio, and the phone will perform equally well over all networks.
Micromax & BSNL: The Partnership
Micromax has partnered with government-owned BSNL to offer its smart feature phone with some attractive data and calling plans. The Rs. 97/- tariff plan, which BSNL is introducing with this phone, offers unlimited calling and unlimited data for 28 days.
By the looks of it, BSNL’s plan offers much more value for money than Jio’s Rs. 153/- plan. Here, Micromax itself is offering digital content services in the form of live TV, movies and music. No network lock is the proverbial cream on top. But these services can be best enjoyed with BSNL’s unlimited data plan.
Micromax Bharat 1 Specifications: The Smart Feature Phone
The Micromax Bharat 1 has a more or less similar set of specifications like the Jio Phone. Let us take a closer look at the specifications;
- Display: 2.4 inch, QVGA diaplay
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 205
- Memory: 512MB RAM
- Storage: 4GB internal storage
- Main Camera: 2.0 megapixel
- Selfie Camera: VGA
- Networks Supported: 4G LTE, VoLTE supported, Dual SIMs supported
- Battery Capacity: 2000mAH
- Languages Supported: 22 Indian Languages
The Announcement: Official Statements
Speaking during the announcement, Rahul Sharma, Co-founder Micromax said,
“BSNL is one of the major service providers in the country and has a vast reach and network that spreads across every nook & corner of the country. Both Micromax and BSNL have been working with an aim to bring the next wave of unconnected users on the Internet. We will now take this vision forward with Bharat 1 and create a compelling proposition for the users that is a first in the category.”
Anupam Srivastava, CMD, BSNL also added,
“We are proud that we are partnering with Micromax, a home-grown player which has been a key player in India’s growth journey and has contributed more than 150 million mobile users and this number is ever increasing. Connecting the last mile– to the Internet and relevant information – is an important part of the strategy for both BSNL and Micromax. We are confident that Bharat 1 will help millions of users experience the data and calling experience like never before.”
Micromax Bharat 1: The Competition
While the Jio Phone is a feature phone like the Bharat 1, Airtel is offering their bundled offers with Karbonn A40 Indian, which is a smartphone. The Jio Phone costs Rs. 1,500/- and the Airtel Phone costs Rs. 2,899/-.
BSNL’s bundle is nicely poised in between these two with a Rs. 2,200/- price tag.
Having said that, both Jio and Airtel have established themselves as strong 4G players. While Jio offers VoLTE throughout its network, Airtel has recently introduced their VoLTE services in Mumbai. Very soon, other major telecom players, Vodafone and Idea Cellular are expected to come up with their own affordable, bundled phones.
If BSNL wants to cash in on the Bundled Phones phenomenon, it has to improve its existing network quality and actually start 4G services on their network. It still has a long way to go before it can catch up with the quality offered by other networks.