Reliance Industries, the giant Indian conglomerate, said their Reliance Jio Infocomm unit will offer 4G LTE services using FD-LTE on 1800 MHz and TD-LTE on 2300 MHz band and provide voice services.
Jio Infocomm bought spectrum in the 1800 MHz band during the spectrum auction that concluded last week. Vodafone India has emerged as the number one telecom operator during the spectrum auction, ahead of Bharti Airtel. Both invested heavily to gain their telecom circles of Mumbai and Delhi in the 900 MHz band.
RIL is the second-largest publicly traded company in India after the state-run Indian Oil Corporation. RIL’s Jio Infocomm is the only private player with Broadband Wireless Access spectrum in all the 22 telecom circles of India.
Jio Infocomm plans to use their spectrum, ranging from 2×5 MHz to 2×7 MHz in each of their 14 circles, in conjunction with its pan India 2300 MHz spectrum. Reliance Jio is expected to skip 3G and utilize carrier aggregation with LTE-Advanced in future.
In India’s 2010 broadband auction eleven companies competed for two 20 MHz bandwidth slots on the 2.3 GHz band that covered 22 service areas.
Mukesh Ambani, the 19th richest person in the world with a personal wealth of $19.6 billion, was freed to enter the telecom sector when he ended a pact with his long-estranged brother Anil Ambani that prevented them from competing on each other’s turf.
When the brothers split up the family empire in 2005, Anil Ambani got control of Reliance Communications, India’s second-biggest mobile phone operator. Reliance is paying about $1 billion for Infotel and said that it would pay the Indian government $2.74 billion for Infotel’s spectrum licenses. Reliance will use TD-LTE on its new spectrum.
Reliance Jio Infocomm teamed up with Bharti Airtel to use the latter’s i2i submarine cable network to provide data connectivity across the Asia-Pacific region.
Only nine million of India’s 1 billion people have access to broadband. India’s Department of Telecoms hopes the country will have 100 million by 2014. World-wide, mobile devices with integrated wireless broadband are expected to top 2 billion by 2014, according to research firm In-Stat.
Related LTE stories on Dailywireless include; India’s Broadband Auction-It’s Done, India’s TD-LTE: This Year, 3G Launches in India, Qualcomm India: For Sale?, Qualcomm Gets Indian Partners, Vendors Scramble for Indian Backhaul, TD-LTE in China, China: The Big Picture,