Bangalore: Tata Teleservices, a part of India’s $22 billion Tata group, said on 13 September that a new Internet-enabled handset would increase sales by up to 15% for the booming mobile phone market.
Tata Teleservices is adding about $1 million users a month in the world’s fastest-growing wireless market, said Manzoor Ameen, who heads the company’s operations in southern Karnataka state.
Between 100,000 and 150,000 monthly sales will come from the new Samsung handset equipped with the country’s first mobile web browser, designed to provide cellphone users high-speed access to websites, Ameen said.
And 15% of the existing user base is expected to switch to the new mobile phone, which will come with unilimited mobile Internet access priced at as little as Rs99 ($2.45) a month.
“This innovation is an important step in extending the power of the Internet on to mobile devices, making it accessible to the large and growing mass of mobile users,” Ameen said. India adds 6 million mobile-phone users a month as many as the number of computers in the country. The number of Internet users in India is estimated at 42 million, while the number of hand-phone users reached 157 million at the end of March.
Google vice president Vinton G. Cerf predicted during a visit to India earlier this year that mobile phones, not personal computers, will fuel growth of the worldwide web. Handset manufacturers and mobile-phone companies are offering an array of Internet-enabled features and services including payment and navigation systems while dropping charges, bringing new subscribers to the Internet, Cerf said.
“The Internet provides a rich opportunity to explore, learn and grow and we will continue to introduce innovative products,” said Ameen. Users can access text and images, e-mail, search for sites including news, sports, entertainment, he said.
Tata Teleservices has invested Rs199.2 billion to build a pan-India presence and spearheads the telecoms business of the Tata group, which has 96 companies, 250,000 employees and more than 2.8 million shareholders.