Emphasizing that Virgin Mobile India's launch is a "brand franchise," not an MVNO, Virgin chief Sir Richard Branson has unveiled the partnership with Tata Teleservices to bring the company's marque to a range of CDMA handsets in one of the world's largest and fastest-growing mobile markets. The franchising scheme is an interesting one because it allows both Tata and Virgin to hook up with other partners, and indeed, Branson has already said that he'll be shopping the service to GSM carriers later this year. As part of the launch, Virgin Mobile is touting ten "industry firsts" -- and while most of them are marketing mumbo jumbo, it's notable that every single phone offered by the carrier MVNO brand features a color display and FM radio. The service is available now.

[Via mocoNews]

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Virgin Mobile launches in India, but don't call it an MVNO