Indian operator Reliance Communications is transferring 5 million CDMA customers onto its rival Reliance Jio Infocomm’s 4G network.
From May, RCom will begin the first phase of migrating subscribers over to Jio Infocomm’s new 4G network - a move made possible via a spectrum-sharing agreement that the two companies signed in January. While the subscribers will still be customers of RCom, they will receive services delivered via Jio Infocomm’s 4G infrastructure.
The migration process will begin in the circles of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, before continuing in the main metro areas of Delhi and Mumbai. RCom is aiming to complete the migration by 15th August. Customers will be offered deals on 4G handsets as a way of incentivising them to switch over, with devices being provided under instalment plans.
The infrastructure-sharing move will provide capex and opex savings to the heavily indebted RCom, while the ability to offer 4G services puts it at the same table as larger rivals Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone India. The operator is also considering selling off telecom towers to reduce debt; a merger with Aircel has even been mooted.