Nokia is collaborating while Reliance is sulking. In a series of moves which can easily be termed as Nokia’s comeuppance, it has announced a alliance with Reliance which would benefit Nokia more than Reliance. Nokia-Reliance announcement comes a week after Nokia’s famous partnership with Microsoft. It has announced a partnership with Reliance to bring Ovi Store and integrated operator billing to India. Given Nokia’s long association with Airtel, Nokia’s Reliance deal is a shocker.
As part of the deal, Reliance Communications will be offering integrated operator billing for consumers for Ovi store content. Ovi Store purchases are like a separate line item on your telephone bill just like the sms’s, long distance calls and local calls. For pre-paid customers, the amount of the purchase will be deducted from the prepaid balance. Neat ain’t it.
Reliance Communications is going through some rough patch which aren’t entirely related to the operations. Telecom billionaires are hugely involved in 2G scam which is now turning out to be astronomical. Reliance Communications which holds licenses for both GSM and CDMA, isn’t such a good partner for Nokia. Airtel has somehow been staying afloat and is not yet named in the controversies. Not yet. Why did Nokia choose Reliance instead of Airtel?
Airtel for long have been having a steady relationship with Nokia. Given Nokia’s dominance, though dropping sharply, and Airtel’s 100 million+ subscribers, a simple math would turn Airtel a winner and not Reliance. There’s the CDMA angle where most of the phones sold in India by Nokia are GSM phones and all Airtel’s customers are GSM folks. Reliance is a mixed bag where CDMA dominates the mix. Why did Nokia choose Reliance?
Little perplexing set-up yet I am happy for Reliance customers. And Nokia too. The apprehension of buying an app or content is minimized with one click purchase. You know the kind of thing you realize only when you see the bill and wonder and “where did my money go, Maine tho No-KIA”.