Reliance Comms, Twitter team up for prepaid SIM push

The Indian telco and Twitter are collaborating to offer Indian prepaid SIM users free access to the microblogging service, which is the first such partnership in the country.
Written by Nitin Puri, Contributor on

Last Tuesday, Reliance Communications and Twitter partnered to launch a packaged deal allowing prepaid SIM card users in India unlimited Twitter access without paying for the data usage.

Dubbed the "Reliance Twitter Access Pack", the promotional period to sign up for the service is for 90 days during this year's T20 cricket season in India. After the three months, a fee will be charged for signing up for the plan. 

In offering the package, Reliance becomes the first Indian operator to partner with Twitter for such a promotion. Twitter, on its part, has customized its application such that a message will pop up to prompt users to pay for data charges if they try to visit an external link while browsing their Twitter updates.

My question, though, is while posting messages and updates are free, what about uploading pictures and even the 6-second video clips to Twitter: will these be free too? Adding pictures and short video clips adds to the multimedia experience of Twitter and, as we all know, slowly and surely eats away at bandwidth over time.

As the promotional offer is during this season's T20 cricket season, clearly the intent is to have subscribers post real-time updates on Twitter as matches take place. In addition to sporting events, Twitter can be leveraged for other real-time activities too, such as weather updates or even job postings.

It's interesting how, to date, no other Indian operator has partnered with a social media company such as Twitter. In fact, I've yet to see anyone partnering with either Facebook or LinkedIn either. India is a huge market and has much potential reach for all social media engagements, especially via Facebook given that India is its second-largest market.

The closest integration I've seen of social media is directly with the mobile device itself. That is, including one-touch buttons on the device or selecting apps from the main menu, to launch the desired social media app more easily.

I'm curious to see the response and reception of the Reliance Twitter Access Package as it's the first social media package aligned with a sporting event. Should this turn out to be a viable product, I am sure other Indian operators will jump on board with similar packages and services for consumers.

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