Free Reliance 4G SIM with smartphones from PayTM

PayTM, arguably the most aggressive etailer in India as far as discounts are concerned, is now offering a free Reliance Communications’ 4G SIM with every 4G smartphone sold by the company.

The 4G SIM will be delivered to the customer within 7 days of order the product, Paytm says on the product listing pages.

The offer is not available on 3G handsets.

Interestingly, the free upgrade SIM available when you buy a LYF handset also, marking a rather ironic turn for the LYF brand. The brand was originally conceived of to encourage people to buy Reliance Jio 4G connections. Reliance Communications is owned by Anil Ambani, brother of Jio’s promoter Mukesh, and is a network partner of Reliance Jio.

PayTM has clarified that the 4G SIM being given free can only be used for upgrading an existing CDMA connection and not for getting a new connection or for upgrading a GSM connection to LTE.

The SIM Migration Offer, presumably from RCom, will be valid till 15 May 2016, or roughly for 21 days from Monday.

RCom is expected to start giving upgrade SIMs from its chain of Reliance Mobile Stores starting on Monday. The company expects to move about 5 mln (50 lakh) CDMA users to 4G via the upgrade offer.

The operator’s CDMA services will be switched off across the country next month. But in the eight circles where MTS — which is in the process of being acquired from RCom — is operating, RCom subscribers will continue to receive network signal from MTS for some more time. Ultimately, MTS’ spectrum is also likely to be brought under the 4G umbrella.

otheroffersFor those who are not interested in the 4G SIM offer, PayTM will offer extra cash back, though this varies from model to model. (see right)

As we have already reported, Reliance Communications and Jio have entered into an agreement under which RCom has been allowed to bring its CDMA users onto their joint 4G network in exchange for adding its spectrum to Jio’s LTE network.

As part of the understanding and to prevent new users from using the upgrade offer to get 4G connections, RCom stopped activating new numbers for its CDMA service. However, it continues to take new subscribers on its GSM service. GSM subscribers, however, are not eligible for the upgrade offer.

Jio will also be coming up with its own new offers and plans next week, including possibly an offer of 75 GB of free data and 4500 minutes of talktime with any new LYF handset and an equal amount of 4G data with any new data dongle.

RCom will reportedly offer a 50% discount of LTE dongles for its upgrade customers. However, handsets are unlikely to get any subsidies or discounts.

Once migrated, the new subscribers will have to choose new tariff plans which will be more like RCom’s current GSM and 3G plans.