Reliance Jio gets Unified License, can launch voice and 4G on TD LTE

Reliance Jio Infocomm, the only pan-India 4G operator and a subsidiary of Reliance Industries (RIL), has received Unified License for all 22 telecom circles in India. The license enables the telecom service provider to launch voice services and 4G on TD LTE network.

The billionaire Mukesh Ambani-promoted Reliance Jio Infocomm has become the first telecom operator in the country to get pan India Unified License. This means, besides VoLTE services, which have limited scope, using its BWA license, Reliance Jio Infocomm will be able to launch voice services across the country.

The Unified License would allow Reliance Jio Infocomm to offer all telecom services including voice telephony under a single license.

This development will be a big threat to established telecom operators such as Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Reliance Communications, etc. All these operators rely of voice business for almost 80 percent of their revenues. Earlier, these operators were in a better position since Reliance Jio was planning to bring VoLTE service from its TD LTE network.

Interestingly, it can launch 4G services on TD LTE network. MTS India and Videocon are mulling this option to launch 4G. Videocon Telecom is considering launching 4G using its 1800 MHz spectrum band by March 2014, Videocon CEO Arvind Bali told recently.

Reliance Jio Infocomm spokesperson did not comment on the company’s capability to launch voice on TD LTE network using the new unified license.

Reliance Jio 4G plan

Several 3G and EVDO service providers such as Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, MTS India, Tata Teleservices, Reliance Communications, etc. will face pressure to achieve both revenue and profit targets.

TD-LTE and FD-LTE are already creating buzz in the Indian telecom market as well. Earlier, Sunil Mittal, chairman of Bharti Airtel, said the company would look at FD LTE technology options to run 4G in India.

TD-LTE will reach 52 percent of population coverage by 2018. On the other hand, FD-LTE will cover 57 percent population during the same period. ( FD-LTE to cover 57% population against TD-LTE’s 52% by 2018 )

TD-LTE technology, which are used by Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm, are cost effective for rolling out 4G services than FD-LTE which is more prominent in the world, ABI Research said. ( TD-LTE technology cost effective for 4G services than FD-LTE: ABI Research )

In a statement, Reliance Jio Infocomm said it signed the Unified License Agreement with the Government of India, Ministry of Communication & IT,  Department of Telecommunication (Access Service Division) on 21 October 2013 after submission of desired documents and   payment of requisite entry fee.

With grant of Unified License, Reliance Jio Infocomm has migrated its existing ISP license along with Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum to the Unified License with authorisation for all services except Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite Service (GMPCS) under Unified License in all service areas.

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