Reliance Jio has the widest 4G network in the country with more than 7.46 lakh 4G base stations, according to the data published by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
Bharti Airtel’s 4G coverage is less than half of Reliance Jio. Airtel has expanded its network more than three-folds since September 2017, the TRAI report said.
TRAI, in a consultation paper, for reviewing deadline to end mobile call termination charges, stated that the 4G network of Jio almost doubled from 3.81 lakh 4G base transceiver stations (BTS) in September 2017 to 7.46 lakh BTS in June 2019, PTI reported.
The 4G network of Airtel more than tripled from 97,130 BTS to over 3.26 lakh BTS.
Vodafone Idea holds the highest amount of spectrum that can be used for 4G services, around 1.5 times of Reliance Jio, and its 4G network grew 62 percent.
4G base stations constitute around 60 percent of the total network, which has grown from 5.91 lakh to 12.55 lakh within a span of two years.
2G network size in the country has reduced by around 27 percent to 4.79 lakh BTS from 6.61 lakh BTS in September 2017.
3G base stations have declined to 3.43 lakh in June 2019 from 3.6 lakh in September 2017, according to TRAI.
The number of 4G data subscribers increased to 517.5 million at the end of June 2019 from 478.44 million in March 2019 and 436.12 million in December 2018. Nokia MBiT Index Report 2019 recently said 83 percent 4G devices are VoLTE capable at the end of calendar year 2018.
While TSPs are adopting packet-based technologies in the network and footprint of 4G networks is increasing, not all operators are expanding their 4G Radio Access Networks (RANs) at same pace.
While the voice call traffic in public sector TSPs networks is largely handled on 2G and 3G RANs, the voice call traffic for Reliance Jio is fully handled on 4G RANs as this TSP does not have 2G or 3G RANs. Only 5 percent and 18 percent of total voice call traffic for Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel is being handled on 4G RANs, as of now.