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Posts Tagged ‘RCom

The new deal extended by Indian cellco RCom (Reliance Communications) towards Google has hindered Nokia’s plans to establish itself in emerging markets. RCom has maintained a strong partnership with Nokia, in 2011 by launching a signature version of the latter’s’ Ovi Store.

Google grabs Nokia's key Indian alliance to promote Android

Google grabs Nokia’s key Indian alliance to promote Android

Recently, RCom decided to focus its smartphone and content strategy on the Android by entering a two-year agreement with Google. The company hopes to improve the sale of Android handsets in India. Low ARPUs and absence of handset subsidies are retarding the service offerings on the country’s new 3G networks, so affordable smartphones with operational apps and services are in demand. The assumption is that Google intends to leverage its brand to raise interest in the Android platform and to encourage operator’s to use its own mobile web services. The company has suffered drawbacks, especially in China, from many carriers’ foray into the app store entrepreneurship as well as consumers preference to non-Google search engines and offerings on the Android.

For these reasons, the company is motivated to build ties with large emerging market cellcos, particularly those companies which would prefer to acquire content platform through partnerships instead of investing in its own. RCom had a similar idea back in February 2011 when an agreement was reached with Nokia to offer RCom’s own branded version of the Ovi Store. However, Nokia has receded from its support of Ovi to focus more on the WP7 app possibilities.

Google is taking advantage of the opportunity, tempting cellcos with revenue shares or contributing to handset costs. In return, RCom proposes to unveil exclusive data schemes to appeal to Android customers, including a free 1Gbyte/month 3G tariff. In the initiative, Android’s attractiveness will be boosted by the company’s offer of carrier billing, exclusive benefits and customer support centers for testing out Android devices and apps.

 Google understands the potential of such collaborations. Case in point, the company, familiar with Verizon Wireless in the US, worked with Telstra to open an Android physical store in Australia. The company also wants to increase accessibility of localized content through investment in local developers.
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