RCom to upgrade CDMA network to 4G from May

08 Apr 2016

India's Reliance Communications (RCom) has revealed plans to progressively upgrade its CDMA customers to 4G starting in May.

The operator will upgrade its CDMA network to LTE using the newly liberalized 800-MHz spectrum starting on May 4, the Economic Timesreported, citing a letter sent from the company to the Department of Telecom.

RCom will progressively move its roughly 5 million CDMA customers onto 4G as the rollout progresses.

RCom has already liberalized its 800-MHz spectrum in 16 of India's 22 telecom circles and recently received clearance from India's cabinet to do the same in four more.

The first round of spectrum liberalization cost a hefty 53.83 billion rupees ($806.5 million), while the second will cost around 1.3 billion rupees. In the remaining two circles, RCom has already paid for liberalized 800-MHz spectrum.

The Economic Times cites sources stating that RCom plans to take advantage of its spectrum sharing pact with Reliance Jio Infocomm by deploying its own network but mostly using Reliance Jio's infrastructure to provide the 4G services.

RCom and Reliance Jio plan to leverage each others' spectrum to ensure they are both capable of providing pan-India 4G coverage and competing against the nation's three largest operators, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, which have already launched 4G.

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