RCom CDMA Users Will Soon Be Upgraded To 4G!

Reliance Communication Website

At a time when every other mobile subscriber in the country wants to shift to 4G LTE, Reliance Communications, India’s number 4 telecom operator doesn’t want its subscribers to look for other options. The company is planning to start shifting its existing CDMA subscribers to the latest 4G network from early this May.

Note that the top 3 telecom operators, Airtel, Idea, and Vodafone have already launched their 4G networks and promoting it heavily. So naturally Reliance Communications doesn’t want to miss out on this opportunity and lose its subscriber base.

In a letter addressed to the Department of Telecommunications, Anil Ambani-owned telco said, “We will be upgrading our network from CDMA to LTE (4G) technology using the liberalized 800 Mhz spectrum.”

The company hasn’t mentioned what its existing CDMA subscribers have to do as a part of this upgradation process. Would they have to purchase a different set of 4G phones from RCom, or will their 4G work on imported CDMA phones?

“We would be rolling out LTE services progressively in these service areas from May 4 and necessary intimation will be provided to our existing CDMA subscribers,” the company added.

RCom Will Use Its liberalised 800 MHz Band For Offering 4G In Collaboration With RJio

RCom paid Rs. 5,383.84 crores to the DoT for liberalising its 800 MHz in 16 telecom circles including Punjab, Delhi, Gujarat, Mumbai, Maharashtra, Bihar, MP, Orissa, Kolkata, UP (East), and UP (West). The company already holds liberalized spectrum in Assam and Northeast.

The telecom also plans to liberalise its airwaves in four more telecom circles by paying another round of Rs. 1,300 crores.

Liberalisation of airwaves allows the telecom operators to use the spectrum for offering any kind of service like 2G, 3G, 4G, and even share or trade it with other telecom operators. It is worth noting that the 800 MHz band is much better for providing any telecom services than 1800 MHz and 2300 MHz band, as it allows better indoor connectivity.

According to sources, RCom will deploy its own 4G network but will mainly use Jio’s infrastructure for delivering the services. The DoT had approved sharing of active infrastructure like antenna in February this year.

RCom had signed spectrum sharing deal with RJio across 17 telecom circles, and has agreed to sell its 800 MHz band to RJio circles where the latter doesn’t hold any airwaves.

RCom and RJio have inked spectrum trading and sharing agreements for leveraging each other’s 800 MHz band for offering 4G services throughout the nation. This agreement will help the Ambani brothers-owned telecom companies compete against the likes of top telcos like Airtel, Idea, and Vodafone.

Reliance Jio is expected to do a soft launch of its 4G services this month and has pushed it massive commercial rollout to December.

It would be interesting to see what strategy RCom would adopt for gaining new subscribers. Would it offer 4G at dirt cheap prices or launch 4G data packs comparable to other telecom operators. Only time will tell that. We will keep you updated with RCom 4G launch. Stay tuned.

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