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Reliance Comms partners Lenovo in India smartphone push

Indian telco inks exclusive partnership with Chinese PC giant to sell dual-band smartphones across the country as they both target the sub-US$150 consumer segment.
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor

Reliance Communications has announced an exclusive partnership with Lenovo to release co-branded dual-band smartphones to help develop the local CDMA ecosystem.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the Indian telco said the partnership with Lenovo will "redefine" the CDMA device ecosystem in the country, and will depend on its "dual-core" network that straddles both GSM and CDMA signals.

It added that the Reliance Lenovo co-branded phones will be exclusive to the telco's customers and will be available across 2,500 of its stores, as well as 1,000 Lenovo stores across the country. The smartphones will run on the latest Android operating system and a 1-gigahertz (GHz) dual-core processor.

The telco believes the new devices will help customers fully realize the benefits of its "All Share" data plan, which allows customers to pool their data allowance into a single account and access the Internet across multiple mobile devices.

Gurdeep Singh, president and CEO of the wireless business at Reliance Communications, said: "We are confident the unmet demand of an innovative CDMA smartphone with exciting features at an attractive price point, bundled with our most innovative 'All Share' plans will fulfil the demand of every customer on our superior network."

In a separate Economic Times report on Friday, it stated both companies will release "four or five" smartphones, and they will each be priced below 8,000 Indian rupees (US$149.70). Reliance will start retailing its share of the smartphones by the end of March this year, it added.

Announcing this partnership, Mr Gurdeep Singh, President & CEO-- Wireless Business, Reliance Communications Limited said, "We are happy to announce our partnership with Lenovo to offer the most innovative dual technology smart-phones in the country. In line with our endeavour to develop the CDMA device ecosystem, the co-branded smartphones are set to offer a superlative customer experience in terms of device, speed, and coverage on our high-speed data network offering the widest footprint across the country."

"The Indian smartphone market represents solid growth opportunities where CDMA/GSM smartphone penetration is still low. The consumer response to our smartphones in these few months has been very encouraging. Having made strong inroads owing to our innovative product offering, we saw a great synergy with Reliance Communications to provide cutting edge phones for our consumers as a next step to penetrate the market further. With this partnership, we aim to replicate our China success and gain market share in the booming smartphone market in India," said Liu Jun, president, Lenovo Business Group.

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