Airtel has announced that 1 million feature phone users on its network now pay for the Truecaller ID feature that informs them of the caller’s identity even without a data connection. Announced in March last year and rolled out a month later, the service is available for both prepaid and postpaid subscribers of Airtel who use feature phones. It provides information about the caller from the data in Truecaller’s database and sends the same as a Flash SMS before the call hits the phone.
Arun Krishnan, Director, Strategic Partnerships, Truecaller said, “With the Airtel Truecaller ID service, we opened data-centric inroads to offline users, who gave us an extremely positive response by subscribing to Truecaller in its flash message form. We hope to further empower these feature phone users in India and safeguard them from spam calls and making sure there are no unknown calls.”
The Truecaller ID service helps the company tap the feature phone market of India, which had so far remained out of its reach even as app gained popularity among smartphone users. At the time of the service’s launch, Airtel has said that this partnership with Truecaller will enable millions of feature phone users to enjoy a “smartphone-like” experience in offline mode.
Airtel has been concentrating on the lower end of the market for the past year. It has partnered with a number of smartphone brands to lower the prices of entry-level smartphones via cashbacks under the Mera Pehla Smartphone initiative. Hike, the messaging app by Bharti Airtel scion Kevin Bharti Mittal, also launched Hike Total recently to give low-end smartphones access services such as to messaging, news, horoscope, buying recharge without an active data connection. It will also provide users the option to send or receive money in Hike wallet, cricket scores and rail information, which take between 100KB to 1MB data.