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Jun 29, 2014

Russia’s Yota Devices in talks with Rel Jio, Bharti Airtel & Aircel to provide WiFi dongles and routers

Wireless Federation

Yota Devices, a Russian vendor of products which support 4G LTE, is betting big on the Indian market and is in talks with operators including Reliance Jio Infocomm, Bharti Airtel and Aircel to provide Wi-Fi dongles and routers.

In an interview with ET, Pavel Zakharkin, business development director at Yota Devices stated that the company’s talks with Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio were at an advanced stage. Reliance Jio is using Yota’s routers and dongles for 4G trials on the 2300 MHz bandwidth (TD-LTE) in the country, as reported by Economic Times. Zakharkin further added that they hope to closed a deal with Reliance Jio for their TD-LTE devices, adding that the company’s technical team was working with Reliance Jio which has been doing field trials for 4G services in a limited manner, plans to conduct expanded field trials for its services from August till early 2015, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani recently stated at the company’s annual general meeting.

The company is expected to launch its highspeed data and voice services on 4G in phases next year, riding a Rs 70,000-crore investment by parent Reliance Industries. A Reliance Jio spokesperson stated in a statement that they don’t announce vendor tieups. In fact, no vendor can disclose anything to media as there is nondisclosure as part of our contract in all purchases or service contracts.

Many vendors come and show their product. That doesn’t mean they are buying from them. On the other hand, Bharti Airtel declined to comment while Aircel did not reply to an email seeking response to its talks with Yota Devices. Yota Devices’ TD-LTE enabled Wi-Fi dongle ‘Amber’, which can connect 11 different devices simultaneously in a home environment, and portable router ‘Ruby’ are the two products that the company has positioned for the Indian market.

The devices are based on Qualcomm and Altair chipsets, respectively. Zakharkin said the company would ensure the “best pricing” in India, adding that Indian market was similar to Russia’s in terms of price sensitiveness. Besides routers and dongles, Yota Devices also plans to launch an upgraded version of its dual screen equipped YotaPhone that it sells in developed countries.