RCOM has launched the iPhone 5 GSM version on its network along with special tariff plans for new and old RCOM iPhone subscribers, reports Times of India. This essentially means that these new data plans are also available on iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S on RCOM’s network.
RCOM is offering four monthly plans: 2GB of 3G data & 100 voice minutes free at Rs 304, 3GB 3G data & 200 voice minutes at Rs 504, 6GB 3G data & 400 voice minutes at Rs 804, and 10GB 3G data & 500 voice minutes at Rs 1,004. The handset has to be purchased separately. The 16GB version of the iPhone will be available for Rs 45,500, the 32GB version for Rs 52,500 and the 64GB model for Rs 59,500. Besides this, RCOM is also offering free access to Facebook, Twitter & WhatsApp for 90 days.
The 3G data plans are as much as 32% cheaper than existing 3G plans on its network. For example, a 2GB 3G data and Rs 150 worth talk time is available for Rs 448 per month. Other telecom operators also offer special iPhone data plans, however they are way more costlier than what RCOM offers. In November 2012, Bharti Airtel had launched special tariff plans for iPhone 5 on Postpaid connections on its network. Airtel offers four data plans: 200MB of 3G data, 300 National SMS, and 500 local minutes for Rs 300/month; 500MB 3G data, 400 SMS, and 900 local minutes for Rs. 500/month; 1.2GB 3G data, 500 SMS, and 1,400 local minutes for Rs 800/month; and 3GB 3G data, 600 SMS, and 1,500 local minutes for Rs 1,000.
Apple’s iPhone 5, launched on September 12, 2012, comes with a 4-inch retina display screen with a resolution of 1136*640 and ~326 ppi pixel density, 8 Megapixel iSight camera with an f/2.4 aperture and a hybrid IR filter, ability to record 1080p videos, a 1.2 megapixel front facing camera, a new dual-core Apple A6 processor chip, support for HD voice, and connectivity options like LTE connectivity, WiFi (2.4GHz and 5GHz on 802.11n), and Bluetooth v4.0. The device also comes with Apple’s latest iOS 6 operating system.
RCOM’s data initiatives
In April 2013, RCOM inked a deal with Twitter to launch a new plan – ‘Reliance Twitter Access Pack’ which offered free Twitter access across Twitter.com, Mobile.twitter.com and Twitter’s official mobile apps, to its GSM subscribers for 90 days. In October 2012, RCOM had also launched a prepaid plan ‘WhatsApp Plan’ for all Reliance GSM subscribers and ‘My College Plan’ for students across the country. With the plan, Reliance GSM subscribers can get unlimited usage of WhatsApp and Facebook across the country for Rs. 16/month. In June 2013, RCOM had partnered STAR Sports to offer unlimited live streaming of the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy 2013 tournament on STAR Sports mobile site to its subscribers.
Note that earlier this month, telcos such as Vodafone, Idea, Airtel, and Tata DOCOMO slashed its 2G data rates by 90%. While RCOM have not reduced its data rates, it appears that it wants to increase its 3G subscriber base instead.
RCOM had reported 7.2 million 3G subscribers and 29.4 million data customers for the quarter ending March 31, 2012, claiming that it has the highest 3G subscriber base in the country. It also reported data usage per subscriber was up 13.93% to 319 MB per connection from 280 MB last quarter, which the company claims is the highest in the industry.