Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm has officially made a deal with Korean electronics giant, Samsung to supply key infrastructure relating to Base Transceiver Stations (BTS). Samsung, which is active in the country when it comes to handsets and other electronic equipment, will now break into the sub-continent for the first time when it comes to the BTS segment. The BTS infrastructure is important when it comes to delivering 4G speeds.
Samsung will now compete with existing BTS companies like Nokia Siemens Networks and Ericsson. The report for DNA suggests that RJIL has signed a contract worth $1.2 billion which translates to Rs.7500 crore. The deal will see Samsung supplying BTS infrastructure to 70,000 points across the country. Currently, Samsung has already supplied 14000 BTS which amounts to 20% of the total. Once the contract is completed, Reliance Jio Infocomm will be equipped to provide 4G services across the country. The network provider has also inked a separate deal with Samsung to provide it with special 4G enabled handsets. This development will lead to 4G voice calls, which will be a first for the country. Sources say that Reliance will launch its 4G services first in Guwahati and other North East states via Kolkata in a couple of months.
Before this, Airtel has been the only Indian player which has launched 4G in the country. However, the company only provides 4G via data cards instead of mobile phones. The 4G launch in Mumbai and Delhi may have been delayed because of the 2G auction getting postponed to March next year. If this is true, we might have access to 4G services by the middle of next year.
While 3G adoption has increased across the country, it was not immediately popular due to higher charges and unpredictability of the service in many urban areas. So far the experience has still not improved very much as many areas in the cities still do not get adequate 3G cover. With Reliance Jio joining the 4G bandwagon, many other players might follow suit, but it remains to be seen if the service will be popular given the issues with 3G coverage across the country.
Source | DNA