So after an announcement last year, Blyk has finally entered India in collaboration with Aircel. Blyk is a Finland based company that had launched in UK as a youth centric mobile operator (one had to be 16-24 to subscribe ) that had a paid-to-read program built-in. Subscribers were sent brand centric content, sponsored rich media content or plain SMS ads and were given bonus talk time to receive them. After the announcement last year, Blyk ended its operations as an independent operator and is now providing services to Orange subscribers.
How does Blyk Aircel work in India?
Blyk with Aircel can be activated with a special Aircel Blyk recharge voucher of Rs.74 that will have talktime of Rs.20, calls @ 1p/sec, PocketInternet (for 7 days), MusicConnect (20 minutes), Unlimited DialerTunes (for 7 days), free wallpapers and games (for 30 days). Depending on your circle the validity could be 1 yr or lifetime.
You need to have MMS enabled phone to use Blyk. As a Blyk member on Aircel you will receive regular messages that will help Blyk know more about you and send you personalized content. It is yet not clear as to what is the incentive size for each sponsored message that you receive.
On close observation the Blyk service seems to be a MVNO but instead of building a operator brand like Docomo or Virgin that you could directly subscribe to, you pay a switching charge of Rs.74 to become a Blyk subscriber on Aircel.
T24 is another MVNO that is rewarding users with discount coupons of Future Group stores on every recharge. T24 has recently launched its services in UP also.
What do you think of this complex game? Will the youth buy into the cool factor?
[Naman is a startup enthusiast and has worked with couple of Indian startups as Product Manager. He writes at The Inspire Blog]