Microsoft is partnering with India’s largest operator Bharti Airtel to offer customers buying the vendor’s new Lumia 4G models free 4G data bundles.
The partnership, which hasn’t been finalised according to The Economic Times, will cover the Lumia 950, 950XL and lower-priced 550, which will be launched in India by the end of the year.
Details of the data-bundling deal are being negotiated, said Ajey Mehta, head of mobile devices at Microsoft India.
The Windows 10 Lumia 950 and 950XL were launched last month at INR43,699 ($654) and INR49,399 respectively.
Mehta said Microsoft is considering partnering with other operators but the “current discussions are happening only with Airtel”, the Times reported.
Airtel last month announced an ambitious INR600 billion ($9.04 billion) network expansion plan, targeting bringing mobile broadband access to 500,000 villages and reaching 250,000 small towns with fixed broadband over the next three years.
The operator, with a 23.5 per cent market share and 234 million mobile connections, aims to nearly double the number of base stations by adding 160,000 sites over that period.
Airtel said earlier in the year it plans to offer 4G service in about 400 towns and villages by the end of 2015. Its 4G push is aimed at gaining an edge on new entrant Jio, which delayed its pan-India 4G launch from June to early next year.