So what if MVNO’s aren’t yet allowed in India: Tata Teleservices has announced the launch of T24 Mobile with Kishore Biyani promoted retail giant Future Group; Tata’s third partnership in the telecom space, following Tata Docomo (via investment) and Virgin Mobile (franchise agreement). With Mayur Toshniwal (in pic below)at the help, T24 is a GSM based service which offers a loyalty program for the telecom business – ‘Shop More, Talk More’ and ‘Talk More, Shop More’. The service has currently been launched in Andhra Pradesh, and will be rolled out across Future Group’s retail networks in over 75 cities and 65 rural destinations, which it claims attracted over 200 million customer footfalls in 2009.

All in all, the two partners that Tata already has, have contributed to its overall connection base of around 70 million connections, along with its own brand Tata Indicom on CDMA. But this T24 launch is by far the most interesting telecom launch yet, because it brings to customers a unique value proposition of loyalty benefits – one usually provided by credit cards or air miles – with the immediate gratification of mobile talktime, unlike in case of most loyalty programs where one collects points forever, and picks out gifts. From what I’m told by some execs in the mobile Industry, transfer of talktime has been used as a form of currency anyway, with the lack of a sizable mobile payments ecosystem in India.

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