Reliance Communications will upgrade its high-speed CDMA network in data-intensive areas to 3.5G for speeds of up to 14.7 Mbps this year, the company said.
Currently, RCom’s networks are on the EVDO standard Revision A and supports speeds of upto 3.1 Mbps. This will be upgraded to EVDO Rev B, which will be about five times as fast.
It may be noted that MTS has already upgraded much of its network to Rev B.
RCom will spend about Rs 2,000 crore for the upgrade and other network investments this financial year.
The company, which saw its CDMA voice business start bleeding when mobile number portability was introduced several years ago, saw a key turn around in the January March period as its voice revenue in the CDMA business grew for the first time.
The company said it will introduce several models of multi-mode (GSM/CDMA) and multi-band devices in the coming months. It said prices of such devices will come down from about 260 dollars at present to about 100-120 dollars later this year, and to about 70 dollars in about one year from now.
At present, about 8% of RCom’s CDMA subscribers are on multi-mode devices that support both CDMA and GSM. It may be noted that such entry-level devices are available in the open market for Rs 2,500 onwards.
RCom is also launching new, large-display, high-end Android phones to lure customers.