Taxi hailing app Uber has entered into a strategic partnership with Bharti AirtelBSE -2.81 % in a bid to provide internet access to riders and leverage India’s largest telecom player’s 200 million customer base in India.
As a part of the deal, Uber users get access to free 4G Wifi in Uber cabs starting with Mumbai on Saturday and an additional payment option Airtel money on the app. Drivers get subsidised mobile devices and data plans, the company said. The drivers will use an Airtel 4G enabled MiFi dongle which will have a battery life of 6 hours. Users will just have to click on ‘UberWiFi’ as an option and they will be logged on to the internet.
“This partnership is built on our shared visions and strengths of broad, reliable networks and connecting people to their world, anytime, anywhere,” said Amit Jain, President, Uber India. Over the next few months, both companies will also be working on joint marketing campaigns.
“Our partnership with Uber is directly in line with our commitment to offer innovative and relevant services for our customers,” said Srini Gopalan, director, consumer business, Bharti Airtel.
Earlier this week, Ola, launched ‘Ola Select,’ on an invite basis to a few customers with benefits like free in-cab Wi-fi, upgrades at no extra cost, and a range of exclusive benefits from partner brands like Myntra, Snapdeal and Cleartrip.
Drivers will be able to keep the phones charged for long distance rides by plugging the dongle into the cigarette lighter to keep them charged. This week, Uber also started a pilot in South Africa where riders hailing Uber Black are being offered free WiFi upto a limited time.
Last month, Uber announced that it is going to invest $1 billion in the Indian market in the next nine months. The San Francisco headquartered company also raised close to $100 million of funding from private equity firm Tata Opportunities Fund, last week