Xiaomi Becomes a Mobile Operator
Apart from launching its Mi 4c smartphone, Xiaomi introduced the new Mi Mobile service in China. The company thus marks its entry into an all new segment where it will compete against other China-based carriers.
The new MVNO (or mobile virtual network operator) service from Xiaomi will be offering consumers voice and data services and utilising China Unicom or China Telecom networks.
Under Xiaomi Mi Mobile's pay-as-you-go plan, consumers will be charged CNY 0.10 (approximately Rs. 1.10) per voice minute, SMS, and 1MB data. The plan supports China Unicom 2G, 3G, and 4G networks. It will be available for sale via the company online store (Mi.com) starting Wednesday.
Under the second scheme, consumers will get 3GB data bundle for CNY 59 (approximately Rs. 610) per month. Under this offer, consumers will have to pay equivalent to CNY 0.02/MB (approximately Rs. 0.30) for data and CNY 0.10 (approximately Rs. 1) per voice minute, SMS or 1MB data (after exceeding 3GB data cap). It supports China Telecom 2G, 3G, and 4G networks and will be available in public beta starting October.
The Mi Mobile SIM cards will be available as triple-cut SIM card, which means it could instantly usable with phone supporting mini, micro or nano-SIM cards.
MVNOs, which purchase network capacity from large carriers and resell mobile plans under their own branding, have failed to gain traction in China, where three state-owned giants dominate the telecoms industry.
The launch comes less than six months after Google announced it would launch an MVNO service in the United States called "Fi" that piggybacks off Sprint and T-Mobile's networks.
The Chinese company on Tuesday also unveiled its new Mi Bluetooth Speaker with aluminium body and 1500mAh built-in battery. The new speakers have been priced at CNY 199 (approximately Rs. 2,000). The speaker also comes with microSD card support.