India's Reliance Communications, the country's largest CDMA operator with about 8 percent of the global CDMA subscriber base, dealt a blow to the CDMA community by inviting bids for GSM equipment contracts in a huge $7-billion network expansion plan that will have the operator running both CDMA and GSM networks. Local press reports say Reliance is looking to award three or four contracts for around 70 million to 75 million GSM lines and 20 million to 25 million wideband CDMA lines. By leveraging the CDMA network, it will be able to cut the cost of 30 million lines. Reliance and India's other CDMA operator Tata have been complaining for months about CDMA's higher handset prices relative to GSM.
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