Reliance communications the 4th largest operator by subscriber base which is in the process of launching its 4G LTE services in India has finally made an official announcement through its instacare app that it will be completely shutting down its CDMA services in the phase 1 circles of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, UP East, UP West and Madhya Pradesh, putting to rest the speculations that CDMA services might be continued in these circles side by side along with the 4G services.
Earlier CDMA voice subscribers from various cities in these circles had reported that their CDMA numbers had stopped latching on to the CDMA network and the 4G sims had been activated albeit connecting only to 2G GSM and 3G networks. Reliance is yet to launch its own 4G in any circle and the upgrade seems to be carried out in a phased manner across the 9 circles. But the 31st May deadline for CDMA hints at a possible 1st June launch of 4G in these circles.
As of now it is also not clear whether Rcom users will be latching on to the operator’s own 4G on 850MHz spectrum or be allowed to latch on to partner Jio’s 1800 and 2300 MHz spectrum till Rcom is ready for launch on 850 MHz band. The Wi-Pods supplied by Rcom for 4G LTE upgrade support all 3 bands of 4G which are planned for use by Rcom and Jio. Reliance will only support data services on the LTE network while voice calls will fall back on its 3G and 2G networks.
There is also limited clarity about the continuum of CDMA EvDO tariffs on the new LTE network for subscribers upgrading the service. The base tariff for prepaid is changing upon doing the 4G upgrade recharge. Postpaid subscribers who have activated a new plan in the past 6 months will be given tariff protection till 6 months of plan activation after which the existing market rates will apply. Inside sources have revealed that Wi-Pod tariffs will remain unchanged on shifting from EvDO Rev.B to LTE and the lifetime 1GB per month offer will continue till license expiry for subscribers who had recharged with the lifetime offer. Other prepaid recharges and STVs may be the same as existing GSM and 3G recharge denominations with the benefit of LTE speeds.
Note: Do cross check with Rcom customer care.
Image courtesy : AKHILESH KUMAR SHUKLA
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.