As a part of the ongoing process of shutting down CDMA services on a Pan India scale to free up valuable sub 1 GHz spectrum for 4G LTE, Rcom has from today begun the process of migration of fixed wireless phone (FWP) subscribers from the original CDMA technology to the newer GSM technology based consumer premise equipment. CDMA platform supports 3 types of devices viz. FWP, EvDO data cards and CDMA handsets and Rcom plans to complete the migration in a phased manner by 31st May in the phase 1 circles.
For the FWP segment the existing landline number cannot be carried over to the GSM platform as informed to us by a reliance store executive. The Existing tariff plans however would be mapped exactly the same to the new GSM based FWP phone and both numbers will remain active during the migration period with calls made to the CDMA number being auto forwarded to the new number and the caller hearing a caller tone message asking him to save the new number and update it in his phone. The subscriber would only be billed for one connection till complete CDMA shutdown. The subscriber needs to pay Rs.1800 for the new GSM FWP and prepaid users get free 650 local mins per month for 3 months while postpaid users get a Rs.200 discount on bill amount for 9 months to defray the cost of the equipment.
For the EvDO data cards the subscribers would receive a call from the HSD backend team whereby they would register the number of the data card for the 4G upgrade and the subscriber would need to purchase a new blank 4G sim from the nearest Reliance gallery for Rs.25 and then using the 4G upgrade tab on the landing page of his EvDO dongle he would need to enter the 19 digit sim number and have the data card number along with all existing tariff plans and balances transferred to the sim. Following this he would have to place an order for the newly launched LTE Wi-Pod device and upon delivery insert the sim in it and resume services. The lifetime 1 GB per month plan according to the store executive will get carried forward to the new device.
As for the migration of existing CDMA handset users to the new 4G network, the store executive informed us that the stock of blank 4G sim cards has arrived in the stores but they are awaiting the commands of the higher authorities to start selling them. In circles where Reliance communications holds both CDMA and GSM licenses there will be internal number portability (INP) with a simple sim swap process by calling on 1299 and the core balance talktime being carried forward, though any promotional voice minutes or any SMS or data balance would not be carried forward. In circles where Reliance telecom ltd (RTL) holds the CDMA license there will be only mobile number portability (MNP) whereby no balance whatsoever will be carried forward and the subscriber would need to consume it all before porting.
Physiotherapist by day and techno buff by evening, Esmail is our very own in-house spectrum specialist. He has a keen eye for the Mobile data and DTH segments.