Business - RCom starts soft launch of GSM Services across major cities
Reliance Communications (RCom), which had earmarked around Rs 6,000 crore for GSM operations, has commenced a soft launch of its GSM services across major cities in the country. The company is slated to officially launch the services in the next eight-ten weeks, starting with Mumbai and Delhi circles.The Anil Ambani group company has soft-launched the services in Mumbai, Delhi, Gujarat, Punjab and some of the southern cities, including Bangalore and Chennai. The company has provided GSM phones to employees, who are using it to test the services, according to sources close to the development.The largest circles in terms of mobile usage - Mumbai and Delhi – went live on Sunday with the company issuing around 10,000 test GSM SIM cards to employees. RCom has installed over 2,500 towers in these two circles and has invested around Rs 800 crore each.To ensure quality of services, the company has also set up in-building solutions in over 500 buildings in Mumbai. The locations include airports, malls, cinema halls, commercial business districts, while another 1,000 will be added over next 6 months.Likewise, RCom has also started testing in cities like Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Surat, Lucknow and Ludhiana among other places on Sunday afternoon.The company’s first phase of testing has commenced in cities, which comprise 45 per cent of the Indian telecom subscriber base. In the next phase, the company would soft launch in cities with the next 35 per cent of country’s subscriber base over the next three-four weeks and the remaining 20 per cent within six-nine weeks, sources said.When contacted, an RCom spokesperson confirmed that the network trials are on advanced stages and the commercial rollout is on the targeted schedule.In the next stage of launch the company will get provide test kits to associates and vendors for further robust testing. Around 1 lakh temporary workforce is working on the GSM project.The company was expecting commercial launch to start by year-end across 3,000 towns and increasing presence to 20,000 towns within 6 months.