MTS to Increase Smartphone Penetration: No Support for RUIM-less Imported CDMA Smartphones; No Market-ready Rev B Smartphone

MTS India is focusing on smartphone penetration, but without supporting imported RUIM-less smartphones it seems a distant dream with some low-end affordable smartphones (MTag series). Also Rev B enabled smartphones are not easily available.

MTS India SmartphoneFor sometime Sistema Shyam Teleservices (operates under MTS India brand) is in the news as the company plans to boost up operations with new investments to tap the growing data market. They also looking for LTE rollout in the country in 2-3 years. MTS will also focus on smartphone penetration in the country. MTS already launched its own branded CDMA smartphones – MTag. There are several MTag launched in Indian market – Livewire, 3.1, 401, 351, 352, 353 and 281. All of these phones are in the sub-10K range i.e. MTS offers affordable smartphones which will push the customers to opt data services.

But beyond this affordable smartphone range, there is a market for high end and mid range smartphones where CDMA smartphones are almost non-existence. Till now MTS launched only one smartphone in the high end range – HTC Pulse, that’s too with Android 2.1. Recently there is no mid range or high end smartphones launched by MTS – which may be due to company’s troubled business case in India.

If you don’t know there is a wide market for imported CDMA smartphones. Most of them are from US, offer execellent hardwares, latest Android at a very attractive price (though no warranty is given). But the disappointing part is MTS users can not use these smartphones. Most of these smartphones do not have a RUIM slot and programming is done on phone’s internal memory. The progamming is possible over other CDMA operators – Reliance and Tata, as they can send some required files over the air (OTA) when dialed *228 from the phone. But MTS does not have BTS servers which can send these files OTA. There is no update when MTS can offer this, but without this MTS will miss some high ARPU customers for sure.

There are lots of talks that MTS will launch LTE-FDD network over 800MHz band. The LTE800 is nothing new, it has been deploying in Australia and European countries and market-ready smartphones supporting LTE800 are available. But LTE is the company’s long term future, but immediate future lies on Rev A expansion and Rev B roll out from single city (Jaipur) to top cities in the 9 circles. But I don’t think Rev B smartphones are easily available in the market.

So bottomline is MTS has to wide open for all options and for that they really should work upon this thing.

This Article Was Written By: Rudradeep Biswas

Rudradeep Biswas - Senior Telecom Analyst

The happy guy RDB (stands for Rudradeep Biswas) has been writing for Telecomtalk since 2009, covering mobile operators, 3G, broadband, WiFi, 4G, LTE, telecom policies and what-not related to Indian telecom. He is by profession a doctor, did his MBBS from R.G.Kar Medical College, Kolkata.

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  • Anusasi Sivan August 13, 2013 10:27 am, 10:27 AM

    Its very true.I’m a postpaid customer of mts Kerala.but couldnot use high-end smartphones for d same.very useless.

    Reply
  • TUSHAR1991 April 27, 2013 12:49 pm, 12:49 PM

    Hello,
    Can you tell me How you used Tata Indicom’s 4.5 GB data plan in high speed? I have an unlocked Tata Photon EC156 dongle. How can i use High speed data with a recharge of 1X plan? What should be my Profile Name, Access Number, Username And Password? I am from Kolkata.
    Waiting for your Reply & Thank You in Advance.
    Best Regards, Tushar

    Reply
    • Abhishek August 13, 2013 11:51 am, 11:51 AM

      That 4.5 GB plan is a 1x plan..how can it give you EVDO speed?If it had i would have used it in my HTC DESIRE VC..

      Reply
  • Sougata Dhar Chowdhury April 26, 2013 12:04 pm, 12:04 PM

    Thanks Rudradeep for a very nice article. Hope the Rip Van Winkle (MTS) gets up from the lengthy nap and we, the subscribers get benefits of world’s leading handsets on very good CDMA network.
    I being a high ARPU customer with at least Rs. 445 monthly recharge (Rs 246 for 1GB EVDO + unlimited 1X data + unlimited SMS; and Rs. 199 for 1000 minutes local calls to any network) is handicapped with a very limited choice of high-end handsets. Currently I’m using Samsung Galaxy S3 on MTS and there are a very few other good options like Motorola Razr/Electrify M or Motorola Razr HD which support MTS RUIM.

    If MTS wants to succeed with its data foray, it must accept imported MEID.

    Reply
    • SS April 26, 2013 2:37 pm, 2:37 PM

      I have heard that MTS or other CDMA telcos only register foreign MEID if you know a person working in respective departments of the companies.

      Well, I want my domestic MEID to be registered on BSNL CDMA network. Its a tata photon + non ruim and it has become a brick because of high tariffs. As it does not support RUIM the only way to get it working is to register the MEID and perform some software tweaks so as to register on BSNL network. Any suggestions on how to get rid of this. I am currently using a GSM dongle but want to use BSNL EVDO 750/ul.

      Reply
  • Mehboob April 25, 2013 11:24 pm, 11:24 PM

    MTS is the best ever…..CDMA is best for every respect. coverage, clarity, internet speed, cheap tariff and lastly your health(very low radiation comparison to GSM)

    Reply
  • aashu April 25, 2013 8:18 pm, 8:18 PM

    Dude if you want to use high speed then use GSM and if you. Want voice clarity then use cdma. Otherwise through out your GSM or cdma which don’t provide what you need.

    Reply
    • Anshul April 26, 2013 12:46 pm, 12:46 PM

      @Aashu All over the world CDMA is known for better Data Speeds and Coverage, but you are suggesting to use GSM for data speeds. Whom to believe??

      Reply
      • aashu April 26, 2013 2:07 pm, 2:07 PM

        Do you know one thing that GSM 3g is reaching to rural and developed areas but cdma is limited to big cities. And price tag also same . And speed is cdma providing actual 1 to 1.5 mbps . When 3g actually speed is 5 to 9 mbps .

        This is enough for you to understand. Why I called GSM 3g is better then cdma evdo.

        Reply
        • Anshul April 29, 2013 10:33 am, 10:33 AM

          let the CDMA Companies particularly MTS, launch LTE Services on 800 mhz band, then you will understand why CDMA is better than even the so called 4G to be provided by the GSM Companies for data swervices.

          Reply
          • aashu April 29, 2013 1:46 pm, 1:46 PM

            I hope they will provide better services then GSM

            Reply
      • aashu April 26, 2013 2:16 pm, 2:16 PM

        i accept thatcdma is bettre in coverage and voie clarity my personal permanent no. Also a cdma Tata docomo prepaid connection.i use it for only calling .to use internet I use always GSM 3g and 2g edge.

        Reply
  • sourav April 25, 2013 7:17 am, 7:17 AM

    I have a mts kolkata connection.I have to go bihar(MTS lost there licience)..my question is ……..I can get service ?or my mobile will be dead

    Reply
    • SS April 25, 2013 12:34 pm, 12:34 PM

      Maybe, you could get signal from Reliance or Tata. But before the experiment, be sure to update the PRL. dial *228 (maybe it would work).

      Reply
  • Chinmoy April 25, 2013 12:22 am, 12:22 AM

    RDB , are you sure Reliance and Tata allow foreign MEID ? I wanted to use my Verizon Blackberry (unlocked ) in India and no CDMA operator allowed that . Well the BB did not had OMH SIM slot .

    Reply
    • Rudradeep Biswas April 25, 2013 11:51 am, 11:51 AM

      Some bb sets have issues. But I think u should seek help over rimweb, there many cdma gurus r present.

      Reply
    • SS April 25, 2013 12:42 pm, 12:42 PM

      Yup, rimweb is best for you guys. You might face problems in registering MEID in TATA Docomo network but reliance can be done after some efforts. Check out rimweb.

      As far I know, they need MEID and other important info for registering and you also need to dump in reliance PRL. after downloading Reliance Blackberry software (again check rimweb).

      I have even heard some people bringing sprint iphone and using reliance network here! FYI, iphone has NO specific software for reliance so it was much difficult task.

      Umm, anyone can help me out? I want to use TATA photon + modem in reliance HSIA network and again, it has no RUIM slot.

      Reply
  • chandra April 24, 2013 3:12 pm, 3:12 PM

    CDMA( Code Division Multiple Access ) technology is not for India but CDMA has much better coverage than GSM( Global System for Mobile Communications ).

    Reply
  • SS April 24, 2013 1:16 pm, 1:16 PM

    Years back in 2007 and earlier, Reliance CDMA phones were so famous that every home had one. They were cheap and offered superior coverage and quality but now we rarely see a CDMA phone. Companies are only at fault.

    The best use of CDMA can be seen in US, were Verizon is the largest carrier in the country. iPhone has to manufacture a special model for Verizon. Blackberries too manufacture phones for verizon. Nokia, which has no far relation with CDMA, was compelled to manufacture Lumia 820 for Verizon.

    Reply
    • SS April 24, 2013 3:10 pm, 3:10 PM

      Some corrections
      1. Line 5- were will be “where”
      2. Line 6- Blackberries will be blackberry

      Reply
    • Tharun George April 24, 2013 6:04 pm, 6:04 PM

      Till 2005 Mukesh Ambani was controlling Rcom. Then his brother took over from him and ruined it. After Rcom got GSM license they completely ignored CDMA. After Rcom got 3G license they completely ignoring EVDO. Same with TATA also.

      Now Mukesh Ambani operated Riliance Jio will bring the same offers with cheaper handset on LTE.

      Reply
      • SS April 24, 2013 10:11 pm, 10:11 PM

        Lets hope Mukesh to do some magic :-)

        btw, they must focus on one technology CDMA or GSM. There was no need of GSM services for reliance as its CDMA services were so famous! We have plenty of GSM operators but only 4 CDMA Operators (Reliance, TATA, MTS, BSNL)

        Reply
  • Nikhil April 24, 2013 12:58 pm, 12:58 PM

    I am searching CDMA smartphones on online portal but i got only one high high end model HTC VC that is costing Rs. 18500 with Rev A tec. This model is compatible with OMH RUIM having single core processor and 1650 mAh battery which run only for 12 hrs on CDMA network.Smartphone mobile manufacturing companies have to launch some high end CDMA handsets with Rev A/B technology, good processor, HD resolution and good battery back up.

    Reply
    • Tharun George April 24, 2013 6:05 pm, 6:05 PM

      I saw Galaxy S3 CDMA with EVDO for Rs 25k on ebay.

      Reply
      • Rudradeep Biswas April 25, 2013 11:53 am, 11:53 AM

        THese S3 have microRuim slot. U hv 2 cut the regular sized ruim to fit into.
        I heard some us cellular s3 supports bth gsm.sim n cdma ruim.

        Reply
        • SS April 25, 2013 12:43 pm, 12:43 PM

          GSM SIMs only for international roaming.

          Reply
          • Sougata Dhar Chowdhury April 26, 2013 11:16 am, 11:16 AM

            No, GSM can be used locally too. It’s possible on Verizon’s S3 with some tweak.

            Reply
            • SS April 26, 2013 2:33 pm, 2:33 PM

              Yes, they can be used locally but requires some crack or patch just like jail breaking in iPhone.

              Reply
    • Abhishek July 18, 2013 11:00 am, 11:00 AM

      I am using htc desire vc fr lst 8 months..I am using reliance cdma connection..getting 1.5 GB high speed data monthly fr rs 94.. you cn easily watch you tube videos without buffering..

      Reply

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