4G Round-up: Reliance Jio, Airtel, ZTE & More

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Reliance Jio Gets 6 Months Extension of Mobile Numbers to Keep Testing VoLTE

reliance industriesVoice over 4G or LTE becomes more and more important to Reliance Jio Infocomm, as they asked for extension of another 6 months to keep testing VoLTE over its networks.

The telecom arm of Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Industries asked for allocation of 10,000 mobile numbers to test voice calls on its LTE-TD/4G network in October last year. The numbers are allocated in April this year and the permit was to expire on July 16. Reliance Jio has been given 4,000 numbers each for Mumbai and Delhi and 2,000 numbers for testing mobile services in Jamnagar.

The telecom ministry has approved the 6-month extension of the trial permits as the government is supporting companies to work on technology and provide better options to customers.

Saft Got Largest Ever Orders for Li-ion Telecom Batteries From RJIL

saft_logoReliance Jio Infocomm placed an order worth 35 million Euro (Rs 273 crore) for specialized lithium-ion (Li-ion) telecom battery systems to be installed on more than 10,000 Global Base Monopole (GBM) sites across India to Paris based Saft, world’s leading designer and manufacturer of advanced batteries for industry.

Saft will deliver the batteries on a global basis with Evolion systems manufactured at Saft’s specialized US Li-ion facility in Jacksonville, Florida, and supported by the newly inaugurated Amco-Saft India Ltd factory in Bangalore. The first deliveries began during the second quarter of 2013 and will be completed by the end of the first quarter 2014.

Xavier Delacroix, General Manager of Saft’s IBG Division said, “This is a particularly demanding application that calls for batteries capable of working hard and long in challenging climatic conditions to keep the network operating 24/7, and our Li-ion Evolion™ system offers the perfect technical solution."

Saft combined its extensive practical experience in the telecoms industry with its well proven maintenance?free and smart Li?ion technology to create the Evolion™ concept that ensures exceptional service and long-life in telecom installations, while operating over a wide range of temperatures from -40°C to +75°C. The high energy density and fast charging 48V Evolion™ module offers a capacity of 3.9 kWh, and is fully compatible with existing telecom equipment, but is around half the size of a conventional telecom battery, freeing up more space in the cabinet for revenue-generating equipment. The Li-ion battery is also around one quarter of the weight, making it much easier and safer to transport, handle and install.

RJIL: Focus North East

For Reliance Jio, low ARPU markets are also getting similar importance like the metros. The company will invest around Rs 600 - 700 cr for rolling out 4G in Assam and North East states. The company has taken an office in Guwahati and recruited around 100 engineers to carry forward the 4G roll out plan including laying OFC netowkr and setting up towers (of which 800 will be in Assam alone). The company is planning for April 2014 launch. It is expected that with this giant project Reliance Jio will open up new range of job opportunities in these areas.

Reliance Industries is expected to invest more than Rs 150,000 crore in the country in next 3 years for its business expansion including rolling out 4G services.

.Indians Domain Name

Reliance Industries applied for internet domain name .indians and Govt of India objected against it. Indian Government ‘s objections have been sent to the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) of the global body that governs the Internet, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). RIL probably asked this for its Mumbai Indians IPL cricket team.

Airtel Asks for Mobile Numbers to Conduct VoTE Trials

Bharti Airtel also approached to DoT to allocate mobile numbers to conduct VoLTE trials. Currently Airtel has 4G spectrum in 8 circles including 4 from Qualcomm – Kolkata, Delhi, Kerala, Mumbai, Maharastra, Punjab, Haryana and Karnataka. Airtel asked for 25,000 mobile numbers for each service area alloted to them to test voice over 4G in Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala.

Airtel has already appointed Nokia Siemens Network to deploy Circuit Switched Fall Back (CSFB) over its LTE-TD network in Pune in February this year. Airtel partnered Huawei to launch Huawei's Ascend P1 LTE smartphone, but the handset is yet to be launched commercially.

Global Update: ZTE, ABI Research & GSA

In a development which is definitely exciting for Indian mobile operators, Chinese telecom gear maker ZTE has announced to complete world's first end-to-end voice-over TD-LTE call. The trials were carried out on the network of China's state-owned telecommunication company China Mobile in Guangzhou, using 5-mode, 13-band smartphones powered by Marvell chipsets.

ZTE spokesperson said, “The VoTD-LTE breakthrough in Guangzhou will help accelerate the adoption of voice services on TD-LTE networks, and usher in the TD-LTE full-service era, aligning the TD-LTE industry with the FDD-LTE industry. As the development of mobile devices, TD-LTE wireless networks and IMS platforms become more mature, more VoLTE services will be deployed,”

Interestingly in the similar time frame ZTE entered in the Indian smartphone and handset market with own brand with several handsets launched at one-go priced between Rs. 5,799 and Rs. 14,999. ZTE is present in Indian handset market for a time, but mostly via mobile operators. To create a robust distributor channel ZTE partners Calyx Telecommunications for smartphones and HCL’s Digilife for data cards. ZTE will set up ZTE My Shop retail chain soon. It should be noted that Chinese companies like Huawei and Lenovo have found their own niche in the Indian market.

ZTE has to compete with Indian brands like Micromax, Karbonn, Spice, Celkon, iBall, Intex, Lemon etc as well as global brands like Samsung, Nokia, Apple, HTC, Sony etc; yet the company aims to be ranked 3rd in smartphone range in next 3 years. Being a Chinese brand it is really hard to win customers in India. Also ZTE has to excel in creating robust after-sales service points.

ABI Research – Forecast on LTE

Over the globe LTE is widely accepted 4G technology. ABI Research says the 4G LTE service revenue will be $73.8 billion in 2013 and $530 billion by 2018; the number of LTE subscribers globally will reach 183 million by the end of 2013.

GSA – Latest Report on Evolution to LTE

GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) in its latest update of the evolution to LTE report has confirmed that 194 operators has commercially launched LTE services in 75 countries worldwide.


LTE-FDD is the more favored technology than LTE-TD. The popularly used bands are as follows: 1800 MHz (band 3) used on 43% LTE networks, 2.6GHz (band 7) used on 34% networks, 800MHz (band 20) in 11% and AWS band 4 in 9%. Currently 85% of European Uninon countries have LTE network live.

LTE TDD is the best technology choice for operators with unpaired spectrum. 18 LTE TDD systems are commercially launched (within the total of 194) of which 50% have been deployed within combined LTE FDD and TDD networks, and this confirms a growing trend. The device ecosystem continues to grow - 200 user devices supporting LTE-TD are confirmed.

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