Hike Messenger on Wednesday partnered with Airtel to announce the availability of ‘Total, built by Hike’ on select smartphones available as part of the Mera Pehla Smartphone initiative by Airtel. Smartphones under this offer will come with Hike Total as a pre-installed feature starting next month. Hike’s Total is a customised version of Android OS, which has been developed to enable access to Hike Messenger and other select services without an active Internet connection on the phone.
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Total by Hike is custom version of Android with a USSD-based solution that offers data-free access to Total services including Messaging, News, Recharge, Wallet, Horoscope, Cricket Scores, and Rail Information with single login by using just your phone number. Users are also given the option to purchase data sachets starting at Re. 1 directly from the Total UI.
Hike Total was launched last month. Hike Messenger has also tied up with Indian phone manufacturers including Karbonn and Intex. These phones are also expected to launch in March 2018.
Nikhil Gilani, Head, Devices & E-commerce, Bharti Airtel said, “Airtel’s ‘Mera Pehla Smartphone’ has been a pathbreaking initiative towards removing barriers to smartphone adoption in India and has received very positive response from customers. We share Hike’s vision of helping every Indian own a smartphone and benefit from the digital super-highway. We look forward to collaborating with all our partners under this initiative to give every Indian access to a smartphone, bring them online and be a part of Digital India.”
“With ‘Total’ on ‘Mera Pehla Smartphones’, first-time users will find it easy understand and navigate a smartphone. Using data is also simplified and ‘Total’ users can get online with special data packs starting as low as Re 1/-. This is really powerful.We are very clear that to get a billion people online, we need to make the whole process of coming online a lot simpler, less intimidating as well as cost-effective and this partnership with Airtel is likely to do that,” said Kavin Bharti Mittal, Founder and CEO, Hike.