Reliance cuts rural data rates by 85%

Having upgraded its urban network to high-speed CDMA, Reliance Communications today announced it is drastically cutting the tariffs in non-urban areas — which are still on the older CDMA technology.

In such places, consumers can have unlimited internet access for just Rs 169 per month, about one tenth of the rate that existed before today. The speeds, however, will less than that of the 3G-like high-speed networks that have been rolled out in India’s top 1000 towns.

While R-Com’s high speed network gives a speed of around 1 Mbps (enough to watch youtube videos,) the older CDMA network will support only around 0.1 to 0.25 Mbps. However, unlike the cities, the rural areas will have relatively less congestion and may offer higher speed consistency.

The move by RCom is similar to offers by Airtel, which offers unlimited ‘slow speed’ Internet for Rs 400-500 per month in rural areas. Both can be used for accessing the Internet on a PC by connecting it to a USB data-device or a mid-range phone. RCom’s USB stick will cost Rs 1099, it said.