It’s almost official, the debt-hit telecom operator Reliance Communications (RCom) is all set to shut down its voice services from 1st December 2017. In addition, the telco will be shutting down its CDMA service on 30th November 2017. This will affect users from the recently completed merger with SSTL (MTS India).

RCom has officially informed the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) about the closure of its 2G/GSM (voice services) in all telecom circles it operates. The telco currently provides 2G and 4G service in eight telecom circles. This includes Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, UP East and West, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.

The telco will also be upgrading its CDMA network received via the merger with SSTL to 4G LTE in 800 MHz band. CDMA service in nine telecom circles will be closed and only 4G data services will be provided in this telecom circles. The telecom circles include Delhi, Rajasthan, UP(West), Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, West Bengal, Gujarat and Kolkata.

TRAI asks RCom to immediately issue unique porting code for MNP to its Subscribers

RCom has intimated telecom regulator about the closure of its voice services. It has started providing its subscriber’s option to port out to any other telecom operator. That’s in case they do not wish to continue with 4G data services of the company.

As per a direction issued by telecom regulator, RCom need to –
  • Generate unique porting code (UPC) to all subscribers and communicate the same through SMS immediately. You can use this UPC code to port out to another telecom operator via MNP without changing your mobile number.
  • The UPC code generated by RCom, need to be valid until 31st December 2017. (usually, a UPC code comes with a validity of 7 days).
  • RCom not to reject any MNP request from its subscribers. The telco also needs to accept the porting request from subscribers who have been active on its network for less than ninety days.
  • The telcos need to issue a public notice on all leading Indian newspapers and on its official website.
  • RCom should also provide the regulator with details of the number of subscribers successfully ported out. Also, details of remaining subscribers who could not port out from its network with reasons.

TRAI has asked all telecom operators in the country to accept all MNP request of RCom subscribers until 31 December 2017.

What next for RCom

So, what path would RCom take after the closure of its voice services? Well, RCom has informed TRAI that, it will now provide only 4G data services. It’s current 2G and GSM subscribers need to either opt for 4G data service or use MNP to port out to another operator. MTS India subscribers who recently came to RCom’s network will need to either upgrade their CDMA connection to 4G or port out to other telecom operators.

Earlier, telecom regulator has now ordered RCom and its unit Reliance Telecom to issue and communicate unique porting code to its subscribers in Shillong and Kerala telecom circle through SMS immediately. We also reported that RCom is planning to shut down its wireless business and focus only on its 4G services.

A few days ago, the operator announced a comprehensive debt repayment plan. Where the telco will be raising up to 17,000 crore rupees through the sale of its assets. In addition, lenders would take over 51 percent stake in RCom by converting Rs 7,000 crore of debt into equity.

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