Having been awarded a licence to provide pan-India GSM services, Reliance Communications (RCOM) has soft launched in several major cities in India, local news source Business Standard is reporting. The operator, which already offers commercial CDMA services across the country, has switched on its GSM network in Mumbai, Delhi, Gujarat, Punjab and some of the southern cities, including Bangalore and Chennai. Approximately 10,000 test GSM SIM cards are understood to have been provided to RCOM employees in the largest circles of Mumbai and Delhi where the operator has invested approximately INR8 billion (USD170.4 million), installing over 2,500 towers.
The next phase of testing is expected to begin in the next four weeks and will cover cities representing approximately 35% of the country’s mobile subscriber base, as this initial testing phase reportedly covers 45% of Indian subscribers; the final 20% will be covered in the final test phase in nine weeks time. RCOM expects commercial launch to start by year-end across 3,000 towns, increasing presence to 20,000 towns within the first six months of operation.