“RCom has written to the Department of Telecom, informing (the department) that it will be using Reliance Jio Infocomm 4G network to provide 4G data service to its CDMA customers from next week. Only those CDMA customers who opted for the upgrade will get the service,” an official source said.
Of the 8 million RCom’s CDMA customers, over 90 per cent have opted for the offered upgrade to 4G services, the data shared by the company with DoT showed. RCom will provide 10 GB of 4G data at the starting price of Rs 93, which is sharply lower by about 94 per cent than that of its competitors offering 4G service.
In most circles, the rates will vary between Rs 93 and Rs 97 per 10 GB, as per the rate published on the RCom website. According to the letter to DoT, RCom will launch 4G data service in 12 circles -- Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, UP East and West, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.
By mid-July, the company will expand service to six more circles -- Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Rajasthan -- but only after DoT’s approval. The company has plans to offer 4G service using Reliance Jio data network on a pan-India basis by mid-August.
RCom has liberalised its 850 MHz band spectrum in 20 circles by paying over Rs 6,600 crore and put in place spectrum trading and sharing agreements with Reliance Jio in most telecom circles. In the other two circles, RCom had purchased liberalised spectrum in the 850 MHz band through auction in March 2015. A company holding liberalised spectrum can go for any kind of technology to offer mobile service to its customers.
Older CDMA handsets of RCom customers will not work on the new network as it is being upgraded to 4G. RCom will phase out CDMA technology over the next couple of months, the source said.