With Atleast 5MHz Spectrum on 1800MHz Reliance Jio Has More Cards to Show off : Our Analysis

Despite strong market rumor and experts’ forecast Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Industries’ telecom arm Reliance Jio Infocomm skipped 900MHz spectrum and acquired spectrum in 1800 MHz in 14 circles (Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Kerala, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Maharastra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Andra Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam and North East) only in the recently concluded auction.

Reliance Jio, formerly Infotel Broadband won pan India 20MHz spectrum in 2.3GHz band in 2010. In 2012 they bought unified spectrum license, which indicated that the company will jump into voice services too. To confirm their participation in voice market they also joined the auction for 900MHz and 1800MHz band airwaves. But why didn’t they pick up 900MHz band?

reliance jio 4G Map

Incumbents Squeezed up to Grab 900MHz airwaves
In the metro circles, Airtel and Vodafone have spectrum in 900MHz, license of which is going to be expire by November 2014. These operators, if failed to retain this airwave, would have to go for 1800MHz which will increase capital expenditure. With huge money Reliance Jio becomes a major threat to incumbent players. The bidding sees some fierce calls, and it goes from 55 – 110% up from the reserve price.

RJio Saved Money for 700/800MHz
In coming days govt. will auction for 800MHz and 700MHz, which are more efficient than 900MHz. LTE over these bands have stronger ecosystem than LTE over 900MHz. Also Jio’s main target is to offer data. 700/800Mhz will offer better coverage as well as faster data connectivity. So definitely RJio saved money for buying these airwaves.

With 4G Jio Don’t Want 3G
Though Idea Cellular, who acquired 900MHz in Delhi circle, has plans to roll out 3G services over india. But with 4G/LTE-TDD RJio may find 3G is just a waste.

Voice over 1800MHz
RJio is making 1.8GHz band for voice services, which has ecosystem ready. It does not need any new ecosystem to make unlike 3G on 900Mhz.

Towers are ready to equipped with 1800MHz BTS
RJio is setting up and hiring many towers across the country to roll out LTE on 2300MHz. To roll out voice and LTE data on 1800MHz it will take lesser number of towers. So they will not have to spend any extra money on setting up towers to roll out voice and LTE data on 1800MHz

1800MHz for LTE-FDD
RJio has acquired atleast 5MHz spectrum in this band which will help them launching LTE-FDD in India. Worldwide LTE1800 is widely accepted, more than 35% of total LTE roll out are on this band. So LTE1800 has a stronger ecosystem than any other LTE roll outs. RJio will launch 2G voice on 1800MHz, LTE-FDD on 1800MHz and LTE-TD on 2300MHz. There are several operators across globe who have dual mode LTE networks.

LTE Advanced: Carrier Aggregation
With different types of band – RJio opens up for carrier aggregation to roll out LTE Advanced in future.

Possible Take over of Videocon Mobile
Videocon has unified 1800MHz spectrum in Bihar & Jharkhand, UP East & West, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. Apart from Gujarat and MP RJio and Videocon do not have any common licenses. So a possible takeover in future? All though Reliance Jio has officially denied this, but time will tell.

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  • Amresh Kumar - Jamshedpur August 5, 2014 4:55 pm

    I need a job as having good knowledge and work experience in Wireline data products in Telecom

  • RAJESH PRAVIN SHAH June 10, 2014 9:16 pm

    IS there an office of Reliance Jio in Chennai or contact details were in I am interested in Data & Voice for my Office.

  • ajay February 24, 2014 9:38 pm

    many companies have specctrum but in village service is not provide by telcom,e opertors. very bad.

  • Sam February 21, 2014 3:31 pm

    when do reliance jio starts its services in karanataka circle???

  • Kaushik February 18, 2014 9:04 pm

    Good analysis, Rudra!

  • Krish February 17, 2014 8:31 pm

    Today, in ‘Business Standard’ i read a news where it says that-

    1) Rel jio is clinching towards acquistiom of Videocom Telecom. &
    2) Jio is in talks with BSNL to subscribe it’s towers.


  • Raghu February 16, 2014 12:33 am

    Thanks for this post. pl let us know when the 700 mhz/800 mhz auction will be there. Pl update on TT as to when do u think for the TT readers to know.

  • kavin February 15, 2014 8:38 pm

    kindly add the point that by acquiring 4g reliance has made it clear that its present revenue from broadband services are not altered. it will launch 4g at price of 10g, so that no one will opt for it and they will be locked with present system.
    neither will it launch cheap service nor will allow others to use the spectrum..
    simple old technique, keep urself all stock, create scarcity then profit…
    its pity that we still believe it…” all that glitters are not gold”, reliance is the brand to be least trusted… we can trust even chineese not this looters… stop believe and carry on guys.

    • Arunava February 16, 2014 9:56 pm

      Good anticipation.

  • Srivatsava February 15, 2014 7:57 pm

    I was really concerned till the results were declared for the reason that jio may not get enough spectrum to launch fdd-lte and that in turn means going to opt very limited handsets which support td-lte.But now I am eager for lte commercial launch(not limited as in case of airtel in bengaluru,etc.,).

  • sAm February 15, 2014 7:15 pm

    May b RJio hav plans to takeover RCom to gain a considerable portion of d mkt share from begining.

  • ujjawal February 15, 2014 7:13 pm

    what is the diff. betweed lte fdd and td except for the frequencies used

    • Esmail February 15, 2014 9:46 pm

      Apart from the difference in the frequency band the technology on which TDD and FDD LTE work are completely different. FDD stands for Frequency division duplexing in which the Uplink and Downlink data streams are on different frequency bands so there is no interruption in either stream due to the other, TDD stands for time division duplexing where in the uplink and downlink data streams are transmitted on the same contiguous chunk of spectrum, thus it has to be spaced out by time which means at one time there will be only uplinking of data packets, during this time period the downlink will be kept on hold, likewise when the downlinking of data packets is going on at that time the uplink will be kept on hold. Over the world the preferred form of LTE is FDD, but in a country like India where spectrum is less and operators are more, we are forced to adopt TDD LTE since it can work with limited amount of spectrum, though the quality of service will not be as good as FDD LTE.

      • ujjawal February 16, 2014 12:16 am

        thanks for the info.

      • abhishek February 18, 2014 12:23 am

        why spectrum is less in india ?

        • Esmail February 18, 2014 3:49 pm

          Simply because the number of operators in the Indian telecom market are way more than developed countries, like for example in USA there are only 2 major GSM operators AT&T and T-mobile and 2 major CDMA operators, Verizon and Sprint. All the spectrum is divided between only these 4 major operators. In India there are around 12 operators and the spectrum gets divided between all of them. Also since Telecom sector is still in developing phase, a lot of spectrum is still under the Armed forces Defence, and till they dont vacate that spectrum band, those frequencies cannot be auctioned for commercial telecom use. Armed forces will only vacate that spectrum if the telecom ministry give in return a wired network of optic fiber which will serve as an alternative for the defence to communicate, and this optic fiber laying costs a lot of money, that the indian government cannot afford. So all these factors lead to scarcity of spectrum, and we are forced to use TD-LTE instead of FDD-LTE.

  • arka February 15, 2014 2:19 pm

    When will they launch 2G/4G services? any news regarding their plan?
    I am from Kolkata Circle

  • Esmail February 15, 2014 12:53 pm

    Mukesh Ambani is a man of strategy, and had it not been for the non competition pact with his brother, guys company would have entered telecom 5 years back and the face of Indian telecom would have been different. I have faith in his plans, will wait and watch what they put up on offer. So long as they offer voice and LTE simultaneously on 1800Mhz with the towers allotting bandwidth to voice and data as per the demand on the tower, it will be a sustainable business setup.