Reliance communications has after a very long time launched a new innovative product for its CDMA services, till now their focus was revolving only around their GSM and 3G offerings which was evident from their launch of zero plan for iPhone 5S, 5C and Nokia Lumia series. Now Reliance has extended the zero plan to CDMA services as well with the launch of 4 dual sim HTC smartphones Desire XC, Desire 600c, Desire 700 and HTC One DS.
All of these phones are capable of accessing Reliance CDMA EvDO Rev.A network via reliance cdma smartphones which gives 3G like speeds in all 22 circles on a Pan India basis on using diamond OMH CDMA micro sim. The second sim slot is unlocked for use with any GSM sim, but can only provide access to 2G data at Edge speeds not 3G. The detailed tech specs of the 4 handsets on offer are as follows
All 4 handsets under the zero plan come with true unlimited voice calling local+STD, 3000 SMS local+National and true unlimited EvDO data without FUP, all benefits usable in National roaming as well. These handsets can be bought with zero down payment along with 24 EMI’s details of which are below.
Recently Reliance had started to separate its CDMA business from the GSM business and inside sources had hinted that they might soon look to sell the CDMA business altogether, but with the launch of this product it seems Reliance is trying to revive its shrinking CDMA business and will continue operations till at least the next 24 months. Earlier reliance had declared they would be launching a range of CDMA+GSM dual sim mid range phones manufactured by Lenovo with prices around Rs.8000 but that plan never seemed to materialise.
The current position of CDMA in India is that it is a dying ecosystem, the number of CDMA subscribers is significantly lower than GSM subscribers. People who stick to CDMA do so for many reasons including better coverage due to 800MHz and superior voice clarity, but the main reason is cheaper tariffs offered by CDMA operators compared to GSM so that the subscriber agrees to invest in a network locked CDMA handset. The Lenovo deal sounded promising because they had announced mid range phones which would be affordable and the user could enjoy the coverage of CDMA with the freedom of GSM. With HTC the entry level plan for Desire XC comes up to Rs. 38,376 inclusive of device cost and 24 months of bundled free usage, the cost for HTC One DS goes upto Rs.69,576. Even though the EMIs look pocket friendly, what the user ends up paying over 2 years seems highly overpriced. It seems unlikely for Reliance to get a significant response from subscribers at these prices on a platform whose future is grossly uncertain in our country.
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