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RCOM to shut CDMA services, migrate users to 4G: Report

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Reliance Communications (RCOM) will shut down its CDMA services in all of its telecom circles starting yesterday except in 4 circles of Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka, in a bid to migrate CDMA customers to its 4G network, RTN Asia reported. In these 4 circles, RCOM will migrate its CDMA subscribers nto its GSM network. The telco will first upgrade “the most profitable customers” i.e., customers who generate the highest amount of voice and data billing. MediaNama has written twice to Reliance Communications for a confirmation of this development, but there has been no response, only an acknowledgement of our mail.

RCOM had apparently already informed its subscribers in early April about migration of its CDMA services to 4G. For this transition, RCOM had paid Rs 5383.84 crore as a liberalization fee to the telecom department under the 800 Mhz band in 16 circles in January. For 4 other circles in which auction determined price is not available, RCOM said that it would pay Rs 1,300 crore to the DoT.

RCOM has 38.9 million mobile Internet connections, of which 24.2 million are 3G as of March 31 2016.

RCOM & RJIO spectrum sharing

RCOM and Reliance Jio had signed a deal in January to share 4G bandwidth in 17 circles using the 800MHz band. Additionally, Reliance Jio was also said to buy spectrum from RCOM in 9 circles for its impending 4G LTE roll-out. The  DoT had approved  deal between the two telcos last month.

Notice to subscribers

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RCOM said that it would inform its customers before 30 days in advance before it shuts down CDMA network or initiation of migration to 4G. This is also mandatory under existing license conditions. Several users on RCOM discussion forums had noted that RCOM had communicated about the shutdown as early as March but the given notice period was not 30 days, as mandated.

RCOM Mergers

RCOM had signed a merger deal with MTS India in March. In May, RCOM had extended the discussion period to merge its wireless business with Aircel by 30 days till June 22, 2016.

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