Is Reliance Industries waiting for NTP 2011 to offer voice over LTE 4G services

During the
National Telecom Policy 2011 announcement, Indian telecom minister Kapil Sibal
said that the new policy is likely to pave way for the opening up of the
Internet telephony in the country.

If NTP 2011
guidelines allow opening up of the IP telephony in India, one of the biggest
beneficiaries will be Reliance Industries’ LTE business. At present, LTE
technologies enable services providers to offer data. LTE with data and voice
will become a compelling combination for bandwidth hungry customers in India.

Opening up of
Internet telephony will assist all telecom operators to add business. For RIL,
it will become another strong revenue stream,” said Devender Kumar, executive
director, delivery and services, Huawei.

After the bleak
reception of the 3G services across the nation, few operators are betting high
on the roll out of LTE services next year. In India, the level of 3G
subscription is less than 2 per cent of 866 million subscribers with all the telecom
operators are yet to complete 50 percent of their 3G roll outs.

Globally, LTE
is on a growth path. 218 operators in 81 countries are investing in LTE. 28
LTE networks have been commercially launched in 17 countries, and at least 91
new LTE networks are expected to be commercially launched by 2012, according to

Voice over LTE
is also gaining momentum across the world. In February 2011, Verizon, demonstrated VoLTE at the GSM World Congress and announced plans for
commercial VoLTE service in the U.S. sometime in 2012.

Recently, the
MultiService Forum (MSF) announced
the release of a white paper for the first ever MSF VoLTE interoperability
event. Publication of the white paper completes the event hosted by MSF and
mobile operators Vodafone and China Mobile in the Vodafone Test and Innovation
Centre in Dusseldorf, Germany, and the China Mobile Research Institute
Laboratory in Beijing, China, and was backed by the GSMA as part of its work on

The fact is
that 3G networks are extremely efficient at carrying voice traffic and provide
extremely good voice quality. 4G networks support much higher data rates than
3G technologies, however, the net throughput is not much higher than 3G, so
there really isn’t much technical benefit to moving voice traffic onto LTE,
according to ABI Research.

The cost of installing IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) equipment to support VoLTE
is not cheap.

Reliance is
known for scale and quality of services. RIL’s 4G roll out will assist India to
achieve broadband penetration targets,” said Sandeep Aurora, director,
marketing at Intel Technology India.

By far, Austria
is the most advanced market with a LTE penetration rate well over 20.2 percent,
corresponding with the 46 percent of all broadband coverage in the country.

Verizon will
launch VoLTE sometime in 2012, and probably MetroPCS, LG U+, and a few other
operators as well. LG U+, a Korean operator, is also aiming for VoLTE. Will
Reliance Industries add voice to their data plans in 2012? NTP 2011 will

By Danish Khan
[email protected]