Photo: Reuters

Vodafone India has chosen Chinese phone maker Itel to provide 2G feature phones to its voice-only, entry-level customers. Nearly 80% of revenue for Vodafone India comes from its voice business, which of late is facing threats from Reliance Jio Infocomm owned by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani.

Vodafone has bundled voice plans and cashback with 2G feature phones to counter Reliance Jio’s move to provide 4G feature phones at nominal price to entry-level customers.

The prices of these phones will range from Rs 800 (US$ 12.52) to Rs 1,600 (US$ 25) and Rs 50 (US 78 cents) worth of talk-time will be offered free for 18 months. Hence by the end of the offer period, the user will have redeemed the cost of the handset.

According to Avneesh Khosla, associate director of consumer business at Vodafone India, “This collaboration (with Itel) will enable our existing and prospective customers to make the most of their new device purchase.”

Itel India chief executive Sudhir Kumar said the offer was exclusive for Vodafone customers from August 25 till October 31, covering most of the festive season, after which the company may explore partnerships with other service providers.