The Economic Times reports that Tim Cook is meeting with the heads of major carriers in India in order to form ‘strategic partnerships’ as the country accelerates its LTE rollout. The smartphone market in India has so far been constrained by slow data speeds in most parts of the country.

Cook has said the advent of high-speed 4G networks in India will expand the market for iPhones, flagging elsewhere, making it a key market for the company.

Cook is said to be meeting with Bharti Airtel, the largest carrier in the country; Reliance Jio Infocomm, which plans to roll out LTE services nationwide this year; as well as Vodafone and others …

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Cook said in the most recent earnings call that LTE rollout was key to Apple’s growth in India.

The thing that (has) held not only us back, perhaps but some others as well, is that the LTE rollout in India just really began this year, and so we’ll begin to see some really good networks coming on in India. That will unleash the power and capability of the iPhone in a way that an older network, a 2.5G, or even some 3G networks, would not do.

The latest numbers from Counterpoint Research show that Apple currently has around a 3% market share in India, though it takes home 11% of total revenues.

Cook is also expected to meet Prime Minister Modi during his stay in the country, and is believed to be planning three retail stores there. Apple yesterday announced an iOS App Design and Development Accelerator in Bengaluru.

While his schedule doesn’t leave too much time for sightseeing, Tech ie reports that Cook did manage a cultural visit.

Apple CEO Tim Cook kicked off his much anticipated tour of India with a pre-dawn visit to the Shree Siddhivinayak Temple at Prabhadevi in Mumbai […] At the temple, Cook, who was accompanied by Apple India head Sanjay Kaul (right, in the photo below), and also had a chance to chat with Anant Ambani, the son of Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani.

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