Indian telecom operator Reliance Communications will soon launch 4G service in select circles. The service will be offered through Reliance Jio network to CDMA customers only, and GSM users will not be able to use the 4G service.
“RCom has written to the Department of Telecom, informing (the department) that it will be using Reliance Jio Infocomm 4G network to provide 4G data service to its CDMA customers from next week. Only those CDMA customers who opted for the upgrade will get the service,” an official source told PTI.
Currently, there are about 8 million RCom’s CDMA customers in India, and of these customers, over 90% have opted to upgrade to 4G services.
According to RCom website, the company will charge Rs 93 for 10 GB of 4G data, which is about 94% lower than that of other competitors. The rate may vary between Rs 93 and Rs 97 per 10 GB depending on the circle.
The 4G data service will be launched in 12 circles – Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, UP East and West, Punjab, Odisha, Bihar, and Madhya Pradesh, according to RCom letter submitted to DoT. Six more circles will be added by mid-July after DoT’s approval. These circles include Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, and Rajasthan.
RCom also has plans to use Reliance Jio data network to offer 4G service on a pan-India basis by mid-August. RCom has paid over Rs 6,600 crore to liberalize its 850 MHz spectrum in 20 circles, and is now busy doing spectrum trading and sharing agreements with Reliance Jio in most telecom circles. RCom also bought liberalized spectrum in the 850 MHz band in two circles through an auction in March 2015. In India, a company holding liberalized spectrum can use any technology to provide mobile service to its customers.
Because RCom is upgrading service to 4G, older CDMA handsets of RCom customers will not work on new upgraded network. The company will also start phasing out CDMA technology over the next couple of months.