Indian telecom operators, including Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited), have an opportunity to lock in another 13.5 million women users in their networks. The opportunity has arisen because of an initiative from the Rajasthan government. In a bid to ensure that the women in the state are also digitally empowered. But then, it is also worth noting that the assembly elections are next year, and this would be a good way to win the hearts of the people.
According to a PTI report, three Indian telecom companies have shown interest in the Chief Minister Digital Seva Yojna of the Rajasthan government. These three companies are likely the three private telecom operators in the country. BSNL could also be an interested party, but then it doesn't have a PAN-India 4G network as of yet.
13.5 Million Women in Rajasthan to Get Smartphones with Free Internet for Three Years
Rajasthan government has said that the total cost estimated for this initiative is Rs 12,000 crore. This is because, under the Yojna, women in over 1.35 crore or 13.5 million families will get a free smartphone along with free internet for three years, along with other services. But here's where the telecom operators have an opportunity to expand their current user base.
The smartphone that will be offered to the women under the scheme will come with a SIM that will be locked in and cannot be changed. It will be a dual-SIM smartphone wherein the second SIM can be opted for by the user, but the primary SIM slot will be pre-equipped with a SIM card. Now which telco's SIM will it be is the question.
The report from PTI doesn't specify the names of the telecom operators who have shown interest in being a part of the government scheme.