Earlier last week, Reliance Communications through its GSM subsidiary, Reliance Telecom moved to DOT seeking fresh GSM spectrum in Delhi, Mumbai & more spectrum in its existing 7 circles of operations. DOT had sought further clarification from Reliance Telecom which has been totally confidential.
Apart from the royalty issue, lets closely examine why ADAG group Executives have decided to go the GSM way. It is a well known fact that CDMA phones are not appealing and will lock you to the telecom operator, unlike their GSM counterparts which are interoperable with any GSM operator and consumers have wider choice to choose from. Dhirubhai Ambani started Reliance Infocomm with a dream to put power of communications to the poorest Indian, but the poorest Indian is not a mobile savvy user for a profitable business model.
I have said it in the past and say it again, East Asia & Europe are going to be the hottest markets for Mobile service providers. DOT & TRAI India, are thinking of announcing the availablity of additional spectrum in 2000MHz for Mobile operators to realize their 3G/Super-3G dreams. For GSM operators the natural migration is WCDMA that works at 2000MHz. Susanta Mazamdur adds that,
For Reliance Infocomm, this CAPEX would be higher and what Anil would be thinking is to go for GSM and put a GSM overlay on the CDMA backbone and eventually migrate to WCDMA in the 3G space.
Also their are reports that Reliance Infocomm has asked Qualcomm to open its CDMA chip technology enabling customers to use the same handset between CDMA and GSM operators. Hopefully, Reliance ADAG will conducts itself ethically this time unlike its founder’s license raj controversies detailed in The Polyester Prince.