While people are endlessly waiting for the much awaited Reliance Jio services to launch commercially, ie without having the compulsion to buy a Reliance LYF handset also manufactured by Reliance, let’s take a look at the smart strategy of Jio group that no one is talking about.

While junior Ambanis Reliance communications  has decided to shut down CDMA services in phases, all over India having sold off 850 Mhz spectrum to Jio for 4G usage, it has planned to bring all of the 30 million CDMA subscribers to the 4G hood. Yes while all CDMA customers will b offered to migrate to Rel Com 4g which is nothing but Jio only (As Relcom is going to use Jio s network for offering 4G services) it clearly means that all of the CDMA subscribers will automatically shift to Jio . This has to b a very clever move to not just retain over 3 crore subscribers of Reliance CDMA (Started by Mukesh Ambani in 2002, later transferred to Anil Ambani) also get a good num of 4g jio subscribers.

Last year Anil Ambani made two huge deals in the Indian telecom market where it announced strategic merging of Aircel and MTS (operating in 8 circles offering CDMA services) with Reliance telecom. This is a very smart move. Now we may note that in the 8 circles where MTS operates, it is a key player offering high speed wireless data services through dongles. Having transferred Over 3 crore Reliance CDMA customers to Jio network, when the complete acquisition of MTS is done and the spectrum used for offering 4G technology, that may also mean that The data customers of MTS will also have to move to some other data service provider, after shut down of CDMA services. This will coincide  very much wit the launch of Jio  Commercial services.. That way Jio will try to engulf the MTS data customers to its network. Hence Jio will have close to 50 million ready made customers just at the time of launch courtesy closing of CDMA services offered by Anil Ambani s Reliance CDMA and also shutting down of MTS CDMA services.

It would be interesting to see how Reliance uses The partnership with Aircel and what tariffs are decided post merger of Aircel into Reliance gsm. Aircel being a key player in some circles offering cheap voice and  3g data services  will be keen to retain its customers post merger also.

In case the 3g customers wish to use 4g they may use Jio which is supposedly going to bring a revelation in the data market of india post launch

In a smart move by the Ambani brothers to phase out CDMA technology where in most CDMA wireless data users will have to move to Gsm or LTE service. The way Reliance sold off 850 Hz spectrum to JIO will help it get a much needed liquidity while its struggling with huge debts, also the acquisition of MTS will ensure that a major chunk of CDMA users will have to migrate out of CDMA as the technology is gone become passé. So the commercial launch of JIo will mean a whole lot of consumers will have to embrace the new technology.  Mukesh Ambani gets the radio waves for smoother LTE launch while Anil Ambani gets money to reduce debts while the CDMA service was already getting redundant as it actually never took off as expected and people used it only for high speed data.

This explains the unnecessary delay in the launch of Jio, as the two Ambani brothers were supposedly waiting for the formalities both legal and functional, on the ground, so that most or a huge chunk of CDMA customers of Reliance and Mts have to migrate preferably to Jio post shut down of cdma networks  for the airwaves to get used for LTE or 4g.

Vinay Kumar Dokania

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