Airtel may try to steal the 4G show from Reliance Jio by taking country-wide launch almost 6 months before Jio comes in the market, Jio is not just in wait-n-watch mode.
Airtel, Idea and Vodafone backed Indus Towers won a contract for WiFi roll out in Delhi, beating Jio. Now Jio has dragged New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to court to prove contract to Indus was not legit.
The court now ruled in favor of Jio saying the bidding terms of Jio and Indus were not properly compared by NDMC officials. The specifications of LED lights and CCTV were not mentioned. Moreover Indus asked for 10 years to complete this Rs 220-cr contract while Jio asked for only 3 years. Court now orders NDMC to re-issue the tender and cross check all companies’ offers before inking the deal with one of them.
In March this year Indus won the deal – to install WiFi base stations, along with LED lamps and CCTV installations. It was a part of AAP’s plan to digitized Delhi & NCR areas.
During that time Airtel & Vodafone has formed a new JV – Firefly Networks to manage their WiFi offerings. There are few details of the joint venture leaked, however the aim of the JV is clear – compete with Jio on the WiFi turf.
Airtel, Vodafone and Idea – the incumbents are offering WiFi in some locations across the country. However their WiFi initiative seems very low compared to that of Jio, Ozone or MTS.
So far Jio has widest range of Fiber based network – of its own and of shared from network sharing deals with RCom, Airtel and others.
Whatever Jio and Airtel are again in loggerheads, on WiFi turf, and Jio takes a lead over.