Airtel, Opera in global deal to offer co-branded browser
Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel has inked a global deal with Opera Software to offer a customised and co-branded version of Opera Mini Internet browser for Airtel mobile customers across India, South Asia and Africa, the companies said in a joint statement today.
Opera Mini works on both 2/2.5G and 3G networks. The browser is compatible with basic feature phones, thus making its reach wider and more relevant in emerging markets. Moreover, Opera Mini's proxy-server-based technology can compress data by up to 90 per cent and cut down a user's data transfer costs. Opera Software has already tied up with 13 out of the top 30 telecom operators globally and its Opera Mini browser is used by over 168 million users, the statement added.
"We are excited to bring a superior browsing platform to Airtel mobile customers across India and South Asia by leveraging Opera Mini's tried-and-tested set of solutions," said K Srinivas, president (consumer business) of Bharti Airtel.
"For the existing Opera users on our network, the functionality will be significantly enhanced in terms of access to our three properties (Airtel Live, Airtel Self Care and Airtel.com). Users can also download the content of their choice through Opera.
Moreover, Airtel-promoted properties will be changed and updated periodically to ensure high level of consumer engagement, thus offering a fresh content experience to millions of Opera Mini users," said an Airtel representative on how the Opera browser would be different on its network.
Instant access to favourite websites via speed-dial or start page links, tabbed browsing for multi-tasking, URL auto-completion, zoom-in for better view of full Web pages and download manager are some of the new features that Airtel customers will be able to enjoy as well.
"Our primary drive is to provide the best user experience, no matter what device people use. There are millions of users with basic mobile phones instead of smartphones, and Opera Mini gives even the most basic phone a smartphone-like Web experience. We are happy to welcome Airtel to our partner community," said Lars Boilesen, CEO of Opera Software.
Opera Software was founded in 1994 and claims to be used by 270 million people across computers, mobile phones, televisions and other connected devices.