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Reliance Communications launches 'India's fastest' net service news

Reliance Communications yesterday rolled out its CDMA wireless broadband service, Reliance Netconnect Broadband Plus. With downlink speeds of up to 3.1 Mbps and a separate uplink speed of up to 1.8 Mbps, the company claims it to be India's fastest wireless internet service, with a 30-per cent higher downlink rate than other wireless broadband services. As part of its launch, Reliance is embarking on an aggressive roll-out of it broadband internet service. The new service will be available in 35 cities with seamless handover to high speed 1x service, covering 20,000 towns and 4.5 lakh villages as well as all major road and rail routes across the country. The company says it will cover 99 per cent of India's internet population. The new service will be available in 12,000 retail outlets and 2,300 exclusive retail stores across India from 17 March. It will be launched in two plug and play USB device variants, which are priced at Rs3,500. The monthly subscription charge starts at Rs299, going up to Rs1,750 a month for the high-end schemes. An unlimited night plan is available at Rs499 a month. Addressing the media in Mumbai yesterday, Reliance Communications president Mahesh Prasad said the new services ''will be the inflection point for the Indian internet industry and would enable broadband access to millions of online Indians. We are targeting two major segments - about six million 'road warriors' who need Internet access on the move through their laptops and about eight million home PC users who access entertainment and educational sites.'' Prasad said the company's existing service, Netconnect has a subscriber base of 10 lakh and they could consider upgrading their subscription to the new service. He said the company has upgraded the software in its network for launching the new service. Customers opting for the high-priced unlimited plan will have cap of 50 GB of data usage. Capping usage in an unlimited plan is a global practice, Prasad claimed. The service is best suited for video streaming, video surveillance, rich media content and superior internet browsing, a company press note said.