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Tuesday, Jul 06, 2004

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Nokia customises handset for Airtel

Our Bureau

Film star Ms Riya Sen launching the limited edition Airtel live Nokia phone in the Capital on Monday. - - Kamal Narang

New Delhi , July 5

FINNISH telecom major Nokia has developed a customised handset for Bharti Cellular, which will enable Airtel users to access multimedia services at a single touch. This is the first global system for mobile communications (GSM) handset customised for an Indian operator.

Nokia has customised its 6220 model with an additional key that takes Airtel subscribers directly to an entertainment portal with content in the spheres of movies, music, sports and mobile games.

Though the handset is compatible for use by subscribers of other cellular operators, the one-touch key function will be available only for Airtel pre-paid and post paid subscribers.

The phone comes with Sachin Tendulkar wallpapers, A. R. Rahman tunes, pre-installed high data transmission capacity with General Packet Radio System (GPRS), multimedia messaging, embedded bookmarks and links. The handset is expected to be priced at Rs 12,000. The phone also has a built-in FM radio.

While customisation of handsets for a particular operator is a common phenomenon in other parts of the world, in India only code division multiple access (CDMA) based operators like Reliance Infocomm and Tata Teleservices, have customised handsets with every connection. \However, CDMA operators do not give the subscribers the option to use the handset with another CDMA operator's connection.

Airtel also launched its multi-media entertainment portal for mobile users called `Airtel Live.' Mr Atul Bindal, Director-Mobility & Group Chief Marketing Officer, Bharti Tele-Ventures said, "Given that our mobile phones have graduated to being an all-encompassing communication device, which our customers turn to, Airtel Live is our latest initiative to drive convergence in entertainment and communication needs."

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