Reliance Jio Infocomm was expected to roll out next generation 4G high speed internet standard in India before 2013 was over. But perhaps the company may deploy the same a little sooner. The company has inked a partnership deal with its sister concern & mobile service provider company Reliance Communications (RCom) for backend infrastructural support.
How will the synergy accelerate 4G rollout?
RCom already has one of the most widespread Cellular Tower networks within the country. More so, the company had been busy upgrading the towers to support 3G internet. As per the agreement, Reliance Jio Infocomm will utilize up to 45,000 ground and rooftop based towers across RCom’s nationwide network for accelerated roll-out of its state-of-the-art 4G services. In simple terms, RCom will offer it’s already laid out hardware to beam 4G waves across the country.
However, tower-sharing is just part of the agreement. The companies are expected to share even the inter-city fiber optic network being laid. Fiber optic cables currently are in the phase of being laid. Additionally, once completed, they will have a lot of unused or dormant bandwidth. In fact, the companies can easily lease out the spare bandwidth to other service providers too if business interest are met.
Are other companies threatened? Currently only Airtel has active 4G coverage. But it is limited to Bengaluru, Pune and Kolkata. Additionally, it is limited to just data. In other words, Airtel offers only internet services & that too via 4G Dongles. Under the recent ruling & agreement by the TRAI & DoT, companies who have the capability to rollout 4G can even ferry voice & video. This means, the entire telecommunications services offered by a 4G capable company can take place over this protocol.
3G services have failed to win customers owing to poor & patchy coverage, combined with exorbitant tariffs. Now Reliance Jio & RCom have a great opportunity to offer a complete bouquet of telecom services. Will you shift to Reliance if they offer Telephony, Video & Internet on its soon to be deployed 4G services?