Airtel and IFFCO have formed a JV called IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Limited (IKSL) to provider mobile services in villages specially designed for farmers and as per press release by Airtel:
“On offer will be affordable mobile handsets bundled with Airtel mobile connection. The farmer will also get access to a unique VAS platform that will broadcast 5 free voice messages on mandi prices, farming techniques, weather forecasts, dairy farming, animal husbandry, rural health initiatives and fertiliser availability etc. on a daily basis. In addition, the farmer will be able to call a dedicated helpline, manned by experts from various fields, to get answers to their specific queries.
Bharti Airtel will offer competitive calling rates @ 50 paise/minute for calls between IFFCO members.”
The Economic Times further reports that: “The JV will bring several hand-cranked products of common use. These include transistors, community radios and torches.” It also goes on to say that farmers will be able to charge their mobile phones without power by using some wind-up charger, which I think is really interesting.
I personally welcome this initiative as its a good example of technology working at the grass-root level, however talking about farmers in India also reminds me of very serious issue of farmers’ suicide and I just hope that something could be done to improve this grim situation.
28th June – Book iPhone
Update on 12th May: Airtel going to launch the iPhone as well.
Its official now. Vodafone India announced that its going to launch the much awaited iPhone in India later this year. Media speculates that it will be launched sometime in September this year. I am already on Vodafone so that’s good I will not need to unlock iPhone to use on other carriers if I buy one.
This news is everywhere but I am taking CIOL’s word on it being an official announcement by Vodafone. Unfortunately Vodafone has no press release on its website. Infact their latest press releases are dated February 2008. Considering that I have never received a response after leaving feedback on their website and that their website was hacked last year, it seems Vodafone does not take its website seriously.
Anyway coming back to iPhone, media is of the view that its going to be priced around Rs. 27,000 to Rs. 30,000 range so its not going to be easy on your pockets however die-hard fans will buy it anyway for any price I guess. 8GB version will be launched initially followed by 16 GB version in a few months.
Related post: iPhone is here…