Reliance Jio 4G to hit Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Jamnagar this fiscal

Telecom Lead Asia: Reliance Jio Infocomm, the 4G service provider and a part of Reliance Industries (RIL), has firmed up its plans to launch TD-LTE services in  four key cities — Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Jamnagar – during the current fiscal.

With this announcement, Reliance Jio Infocomm, the ambitious venture of billionaire Mukesh Ambani, is putting an end to speculation that there will be further delay in the 4G launch.

Reliance Industries has received the BWA spectrum in 2010, almost three years ago, and could not roll out 4G due to uncertainty about its business plans. Reliance Jio Infocomm aims to launch 4G at affordable prices.

“Kolkata will be among the first few cities where we will launch 4G services. The roll-out will happen simultaneously in Delhi, Mumbai and Jamnagar. Our aim is to start 4G services in metros by the end of the first quarter of 2014,” said Tarun Jhunjhunwala, business head and state mentor (East), Reliance Jio.

The company will offer phones supporting 4G services to its customers, at cost effective rates.

In order to launch 4G services in eastern and northeastern states, Reliance Jio will invest about Rs 7,000 crore through the next two to three years.

“We plan to invest Rs 3,000 crore in West Bengal. We will also invest Rs 3,000-4,000 crore to launch 4G services in other eastern and northeastern states,” Jhunjhunwala said.

In West Bengal, the company plans to lay optical fiber cables across 5,500 km. It would use 3,500 telecom towers to support its 4G services in the state.

“The work has already started. We have laid cables across 300 km. We expect to create around 5,000 jobs in West Bengal,” Jhunjhunwala said.

Reliance Jio may take on lease 25-30 percent of its telecom infrastructure requirements from Reliance Communications.

“Reliance Communication will lease out some infrastructure, including optical fibre cable. It will be around 1,500km. We have so far got right of way for 1,000km,” he said.

Reliance Jio’s 4G roll out will be a major contributor to the TD-LTE growth globally in coming years.

TD-LTE, the technology used by China Mobile, Airtel, Reliance Jio Infocomm for 4G, will reach 52 percent of population coverage by 2018, said ABI Research. On the other hand, FD-LTE, the technology used by several global mobile operators including Verizon, AT&T, etc. will cover 57 percent population during the same period.

FDD networks will expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33 percent between 2012 and 2018 TDD networks will gain ground at a more rapid rate of 43 percent during this period but will only reach 52 percent population coverage due to fewer licensed markets currently. Slightly more than half of the contracts concluded are related to LTE-FDD.

Pix: this pix does not have any connection with the 4G launch of Reliance.

editor@telecomlead.com