After a frustrating wait of nearly a month, CDMA subscribers of Reliance Communications who upgraded to 4G are likely to get LTE signals on their new SIMs this week as a roaming agreement with Jio takes effect.
According to a report by PTI, the intra-circle roaming agreement between Reliance Communications and Reliance Jio will kick in this week in 12 circles.
These circles are Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, UP East and West, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.
Under intra-circle roaming agreements, subscribers of one company can use the network of another company.
In four circles – Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan, the activation of Reliance Jio roaming will happening towards the middle of July, the report added.
By mid-august, the agreement will be in place by mid-August, it said.
This marks the end of an agonizing wait for 4G (or in some cases – any) signal on the upgraded 4G SIMs of Reliance’s CDMA subscribers.
RCom has an estimated 8 million (80 lakh) active CDMA subscribers. According to the PTI report, despite delays and frustrations, the upgrade rate for CDMA has been close to 90%. Only the remaining 10% have chosen to port out or let their number die.
ULTRA CHEAP TARIFF?
PTI also added that Reliance Communications will offer 4G tariffs that are cheaper than market rates by over 90%.
“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,” the report said.
However, this is contrary to the information that we have been able to get from our sources. RTN had been the first to report that RCom will price its 4G data much higher than it had been doing for CDMA, and will offer 10 GB at Rs 1,350 per month.
Subsequently, many Reliance 4G tariff posters from various circles had also cropped up on the Internet, confirming the news.
RCom is offering 10 GB of 4G data free of charge for anyone who opts for the free upgrade from CDMA to 4G. However, going by the new PTI report, the company will offer 10 GB for less than Rs 100.
We believe such tariffs are highly unlikely, though not impossible.
However, RCom is likely to slash its 4G tariff sometime in September or October, when Reliance Jio starts the open sale of connections. At present Jio only gives connections under an invite system, and that too only to those who buy LYF branded handsets.
Jio is expected to offer 10 GB of 4G data for Rs 499 when it starts commercial operations in Sept/October period. This will force all other operators, including RCom, Airtel and Idea, to slash their 4G prices as well.
RCom started selling 4G upgrade SIMs almost two months ago.
Subsequently, it turned off CDMA networks 3-4 weeks ago, moving subscribers in areas like Mumbai and Delhi on to its GSM network.
Since then, it has been trying to get its new 4G network (called Reliance 4G) up and running.
The ‘Reliance 4G’ network will work on 800 MHz spectrum and will reach inside houses and basements.