4G Round Up: Reliance Jio Inks Deals with KMC, Ciena & Tech Mahindra

4G-India-MapCountry’s only pan-India 4G operator Reliance Jio Infocomm has signed a MoU agreement with Kolkata’s city civic body – Kolkata Municipal Corporation to get the license to lay fiber optic cables across the metro.

Tarun Jhunjhunwala, the business head and state mentor (east) of Reliance Jio and Mayor-in-Charge Atin Ghosh signed the deal. Reliance Jio will pay one-time fee of Rs 26 crore to city’s civic body. Reliance Jio will start the laying work of 750km OFC in mid-October after Durga Puja.

The cost of the project would be Rs 4,000 crore and likely to be completed during the first quarter of 2014.

For rest of Bengal circle Reliance Jio plans to lay 3000 km of OFC to roll out 4G services in 54 towns. The project would create 5000 job opportunity in the state.

Ciena to Deploy NLD Network for RJIL

There is strong market news that Reliance Jio appoints Ciena for deployment of core of National Long Distance network. Earlier there were updates that Alcatel Lucent has procured the GPON, FTTx and metro DWDM parts; Samsung got radio access and packet core network portions deal; and Ericsson asked for WiFi component. But no party admitted about the deal.

Tech Mahindra to Provide Solutions for Reliance Jio 4G

There is another news that Tech Mahindra has roped in by RJIL to create various specialized solutions for later’s upcoming 4G services. It has been learnt that two sister companies of Tech Mahindra are working on simultaneously. CanvasM deals with digital promotion, network and utility VAS and solutions for innovations in messaging, content, voice and data. While Mahindra Comviva will provide mobile banking/financial services – a card-free and cash-free transaction services for Reliance Jio 4G consumers. The deal is yet to be announced officially.

Airtel Inks Deal with Kolkata Civic Body

Bharti Airtel also signed MoU with KMC for laying OFC in the city. Airtel’s eastern region CEO P. G. Sharma signed the agreement and said the company will lay 400 km of OFC across the city. The work will be started after Durga Puja, largest festival in Bengal.

Reliance Jio to Participate in Spectrum Auction?

Reliance Jio may take part in the upcoming spectrum auction of 1800MHz and 900MHz band, as analysts think. The move can be beneficial for the company as TRAI proposed 60% cut on spectrum price compared to previous auction.

Buying 900MHz spectrum for LTE, though is not a good option and globally 900MHz band is generally used for basic 2G telephony but this band can help Reliance Jio to roll out voice services and share the network with Reliance Communications.

While 1800MHz spectrum seems a better option if RJIL sticks to 4G only. Globally LTE-FDD over 1800MHz accounts for more than 40% of total LTE roll out, so LTE1800 has more mature ecosystem than any other LTE ecosystem. Still while having 2300MHz spectrum across all 22 circles it is not prudent decision to buy another band of spectrum. LTE-FDD and LTE-TDD – dual mode network? Well only time can say that.

But presence of Reliance Jio will definitely make the auction agreesive and a pricey affair for Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and Loop who are to renew and secure 900MHz spectrum in many circles.

iPhone 5c LTE from Indian Players – Little Chance

Media reports that there is little chance that Airtel and Reliance Jio could offer iPhone 5C LTE phone on their LTE networks. Both companies are looking for cheaper devices to break the price barrier between 4G and mass market. Till now only Huawei has launched a LTE-TD phone with Airtel but was not officially launched.

The main reason for rejecting iPhone 5c is non-affordibility in terms of price. iPhone 5c supports several LTE bands including LTE-TD Band 40 (2300MHz)thanks to latest Qualcomm chipset. Though Apple did not reveal the chipset, it seems to be RF360 from Qualcomm which supports 40 LTE Bands to enable global LTE roaming.

This Article Was Written By: Rudradeep Biswas

Rudradeep Biswas - Senior Telecom Analyst

The happy guy RDB (stands for Rudradeep Biswas) has been writing for Telecomtalk since 2009, covering mobile operators, 3G, broadband, WiFi, 4G, LTE, telecom policies and what-not related to Indian telecom. He is by profession a doctor, did his MBBS from R.G.Kar Medical College, Kolkata.

{ 18 comments… add one }

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  • jane April 12, 2014 4:05 pm, 4:05 PM

    The reliance 4g underground cable laying people spoil good roads and they left the pile of sand and waste there and are not cleaning up

    Reply
  • Esmail September 16, 2013 3:11 pm, 3:11 PM

    The Telecom ministry has proposed a spectrum swap deal with the defence ministry to exchange 15MHz of frequency in the 1900MHz band with an equal amount of spectrum in the 2100MHz band currently held by the defence ministry. This spectrum in 1900MHz is lying vacant for future refarming for CDMA operators but that is a decade away, and keeping a valuable natural resource unused for so long is a wastage. If this proposal is accepted by the defence ministry we could see another round of 3G auctions along with the 700MHz 4G auction in first half of 2014.
    Also if DOT accepts the proposal of Vodafone to open up Extended GSM band 850MHz for auctions, it will smooth the process of 900MHz band refarming as there will be sufficient spectrum available.

    Reply
    • Rama September 17, 2013 12:34 pm, 12:34 PM

      @Esmail
      If spectrum swap actually takes place wouldnt it create a dilemma for GSM operators as to wheter they should save money for the 900mhz auction or 2100hz auction.And do all phones in india support quad band GSM

      Reply
      • Esmail September 17, 2013 3:38 pm, 3:38 PM

        The only operators to be effected by 900MHz auctions are AirTel, Vodafone and Loop. Loop is in no condition to bid for spectrum, so chances are that it will be taken over by AirTel which on the other hand is a global operator and can arrange for funds from its global operations, Vodafone is currently rich on resources after the split with Verizon, so It can win back its 900MHz spectrum. As far as 3G spectrum is concerned, AVoId group as well as Reliance GSM will definitely bid for it, about Tata and Aircel I cant be sure, Tata’s future will depend on whether the merger with MTS happens, and Aircel’s future depends on Maxis.

        Reply
  • fqf September 16, 2013 12:22 pm, 12:22 PM

    Reliance should chuck the 2G and go all out 4G.

    Reply
  • SS September 16, 2013 12:20 pm, 12:20 PM

    2014 will be important year in telecom industry since the telco biggies will have to renew their precious 900 MHz spectrum license in metro circles.

    As I think, Vodafone and airtel are international operators and can draw funds from international business if by chance, they have scarcity of local funds. So according to be their are 99% chances for them to retain their spectrum.

    Reply
  • Ved September 16, 2013 8:50 am, 8:50 AM

    what does this means 5Mhz of 2300 Mhz frequency band ?can anyone please explain me in detail …

    Reply
  • Rama September 15, 2013 7:23 pm, 7:23 PM

    @tharun George or any other analyst who could help me

    i have a few doubts and i really hope someone helps me out

    1.are the spectrum and licence issued seperately.I mean if an operator X has 8mhz of spectrum in 900mhz band so by default is it allowed to use 2G or is it like an operator has to bid for the spectrum seperately and then pay a fee for using 2G

    2.Supposing an operator X is using the 900mhz spectrum for 2G currently and 2100mhz band for 3G band and supposing after 2 years all the manufacturers support all the 3G bands so can the operator simply use 3G on the 900mhz band or does he have to do something seperately.

    3.Last doubt is supposing an operator has 20mhz of 900mhz spectrum so can he use 8mhz of the 900 band for 2G,7mhz for 3G and 5 mhz for 4G simuntaneously
    Any help is welcomes please help me out with my doubts

    Reply
    • Esmail September 15, 2013 7:57 pm, 7:57 PM

      1) Up until now spectrum used to be linked with license, but under the new telecom policy proposed in 2012 spectrum has been delinked from license, so now in all the auctions held since Nov 2012 spectrum sold has been technology neutral and the operator pays a one time fee for unified license and is free to use the spectrum to offer any mobile technology it wishes to, 2G, 3G, 4G, GSM, CDMA. An example of this is Videocon planning to offer 4G LTE on its newly won 1800MHz spectrum.

      2) The operator will have to wait for his current license to expire, then re bid for fresh spectrum in 900MHz band, this new spectrum will be technology neutral and can be used for offering 3G services. This process is called Refarming of spectrum.

      3) If the operator has bid and won spectrum after Refarming and has paid for unified license fee, he can offer all the services as you have mentioned on the same frequency band.

      Reply
      • Rama September 15, 2013 8:30 pm, 8:30 PM

        Thankyou Esmail thank you so much its beause of analysts like you and tharun george that tt is a great site for tech as well as telecom enthusiats

        Reply
  • Arka Chatterjee September 15, 2013 6:00 pm, 6:00 PM

    iPhone 5c is a cheaper device? Ohhh,MY GOD!! In India,it costs more that Rs. 35k…
    It will be an interesting auction,if RJ join for 900MHz Spectrum Auction. In that case, in Metro areas, it will be a “do or die” Match for Vodafone/Airtel!! :)

    Reply
  • Esmail September 15, 2013 5:29 pm, 5:29 PM

    The iPhones 5C and 5S do not house the Qualcomm RF360 because if they did house that chip there wouldn’t be 5 different region and operator specific models of the same phone. only the model number A1529 of iPhone 5C and model number A1530 of iPhone 5S support TD-LTE on three bands out of which band 40 is the one which Airtel and Reliance Jio will be using.
    Rather than bidding aggressively for 900MHz spectrum, Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Jio would do better to bid for a pan india 1800MHz spectrum, since the upcoming auctions will see abundant spectrum put up for sale in 1800MHz band as per Supreme court orders of putting up all the spectrum released in 2012 cancellation up for sale. If Reliance Jio bags Pan India 1800MHz license it can offer Voice along with TD-LTE using CSFB technology.

    Reply
  • Rama September 15, 2013 4:07 pm, 4:07 PM

    One doubt over here since its claimed that 1800 mhz band is not as good as 900 mhz band so does that mean the 2300 mhz band over which reliance jio will operate is going to be worse than 1800mhz band and what are the fullforms of GPON FTTx and DWDM and their meaning

    Reply
    • Tharun George September 15, 2013 6:10 pm, 6:10 PM

      1800 mhz band is not as good as 900 mhz band is in terms of coverage. So more no: of towers need to be deployed on 1800mhz. Yes 2300mhz will be worst in terms of coverage. But will be comparable to 3G(2100Mhz) coverage.

      DWDM- Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing, an optical technology used to increase bandwidth over existing fiber optic backbones.
      GPON – Gigabit Passive Optical Network networks provides the reliability and performance expected for business services and provides an attractive way to deliver residential services

      Reply
      • Rama September 15, 2013 11:06 pm, 11:06 PM

        I have one doubt is the concept of spectrum renewal completely eradicted from indian telecom sector i.e,supposing an auction in the 900 mhz band was held in 1994 band and supposing it expires after 20 years in 2014 so all the spectrum alloted to every operator in the 900 mhz in 1994 auction would be up for bid in 2014 or is it possible for them to extend the validity of their spectrum and what is the nomal validity of a spectrum once bought

        Reply
        • Tharun George September 16, 2013 7:31 am, 7:31 AM

          1.There was no auction in 1994. Only 2 or 3 operator what to start mobile service and Gov given spectrum for a fixed fee.
          2. As per new telecom policy, spectrum will have to be auction after it expire. Vodafone have approached court against this.
          3. All spectrum bought in auction or fixed price is valid up to 20 years. (Unless supreme court cancel it).

          Reply
          • Rama September 16, 2013 11:48 am, 11:48 AM

            Could you elaborate more on the spectrum auction process i mean how are only 3 operators out of say 7 operators able to win the 900 mhz spectrum like suppoding an operator A has won 8 mhz operator B has won 9 mhz and operator C has won 8 mhz so how have they won it and is pan india spectrum seperate from circle wise spectrum.

            Reply
            • Esmail September 16, 2013 12:49 pm, 12:49 PM

              @ Rama, what Tharun meant was that in 1994 only 3 operators had shown interest in starting GSM operations in India since mobile phones were not commonplace and only the elite class could afford it. So spectrum in the 900MHz band was sold at fixed price to BPL, AirTel and Vodafone only in the metro cities of Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. The auction process was adopted by DOT much later when the number of cellular operators increased and the demand of spectrum crossed the amount of spectrum available since it is a limited natural resource. Since then the operators have had to bid for spectrum and the highest bid is awarded the spectrum.
              Spectrum is auctioned circle wise for all 22 telecom circles in India and the operator who wins spectrum in all 22 circles is said to be a pan India operator. The minimum size of blocks auctioned varies from band to band, for example size of blocks auctioned in 1800MHz band was 1.25MHz, while in 2100MHz it was 5MHz and in 2300MHz it was 20MHz.

              Reply

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