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The Mobile Store will offer phones and connection packages

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The Mobile Store chain of multi-service telecom outlets from Essar Telecom Retail is planning to get into an agreement with various mobile operators to package high-end cellphones with their connections.

The company is in process of tying up with leading mobile phone manufacturers like Nokia, Motorola and Sony Ericsson for the purpose.

Such tie-ups between cellphone manufacturers and service providers are common, but similar packages to consumers from a multi-brand mobile store is distinctive.

“Currently, bundling in India is focused on low-end handsets. We will focus on the high-end segment such as the Nokia N Series. We are in advanced-stage talks with handset vendors and both GSM and CDMA operators to roll out exclusive bundling schemes,” Essar Telecom Retail CEO Rajiv Agarwal said.

Under the planned schemes, expected to be launched in the festive season, the handset buyer will have a choice to buy mobile connection with some free talktime and value-added services, and vice-versa.

Essar Telecom Retail runs a chain of 260 stores across the country and plans to roll out 2,500-odd outlets in three years. Total expansion outlay will be about $250-million (Rs 1,000 crore) and the company expects a turnover of Rs 3,000 crore by March 2009.

Essar Telecom Retail is also keen to set up shop-in-shop outlets in partnership with other retail chains and telecom operators. “Plans are there to set up 500 shop-in-shop outlets inside other retail outlets and also inside mobile operator outlets. Talks are on with mobile operators,” Agarwal said.

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