Indian mobile operator Idea Cellular teamed up with Opera Software and online mobile classifieds portal Quikr to offer sponsored mobile data through Sponsored Web Passes for its 137 million Idea customers in India. The Web Pass is specifically for those who do not need full-time internet access.

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Speaking about the association, Sashi Shankar, Chief Marketing Officer, Idea Cellular, says,

“Data is going to be the next big game changer in the Indian telecom industry. However, there are certain entry-level barriers that must be overcome for mass adoption. The web pass concept has helped us surpass the barrier of cost and convenience and has led to a spike in the number of data users on our network. Now, with Sponsored Web Pass, we are confident that even more non-data users will come on board and enjoy the amazing world of internet on their mobile phones, while also giving an opportunity to advertisers to gain instant connect with consumers using the mobile platform.”

Sunil Kamath, Vice President for South Asia at Opera Software, says,

“At Opera, we are always looking for new ways to break the barriers for internet access and ensure that more and more people get connected to the web. In line with that, we are extremely happy to deploy our first-ever Sponsored Web Pass in South Asia, with Idea and Quikr.”

“This revolutionary tool helps operators expand the reach of mobile internet to many more new users, who might otherwise be wary of spending on data plans. It’s a great avenue for advertisers as well, who gain an extremely positive brand association with millions of consumers through Opera Mini. Consumers love sponsored internet access, which is increasingly becoming a necessity today. Sponsored Web Pass is a win-win for everyone.”

Pranay Chulet, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Quikr.com says,

“We are very excited to partner with Opera and Idea for this groundbreaking solution. Today, Indian consumers are increasingly using their mobile phones to reach out to all kinds of products and services. Given Opera Mini’s massive popularity in India, this is a great opportunity for us to connect with new consumers and create mindshare through this new platform of advertising, which directly benefits consumers, as well.”

Opera partnered with Idea earlier this year to bring this service to Opera Mini users in India. With sponsored Web Pass, Idea subscribers can enjoy 10MB of internet access for a day which is sponsored by Quikr. To use this Web Pass, Idea users need to launch Opera Mini browser on the device and click the Idea Web Pass Speed Dial entry and select the “Free Internet by Quickr (10MB)” web pass option. In addition to this, this page also has options to buy Facebook access for a day or internet access for an hour at just INR 1.

This move allows non-data users to enjoy internet on their mobile phones where it provides opportunity to advertisers to gain instant connect with consumers using the mobile platform.

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