Reliance Jio which has a Pan India 4G network and is offering free services to achieve its target of 100 million new customers before it starts to charge for services next year, seems to have started working on the roll out of LTE-A networks in major cities in the next few months to counter incumbents who are rapidly building 4G networks in those areas where they brought fresh spectrum in the last auction.
Earlier in September we had shared how Jio was testing B3-B5 carrier aggregation in Kerala, now the operator is running similar pilot tests in other circles and is also testing B40-B40 aggregation in the 16 circles where it won an additional block of 10 MHz in the recent auction.
According to a source, the company has been silently working on LTE A network plan and has been exploring options to boost LTE A device sales through their smartphone unit LYF. While LYF is currently offering only one LTE A phones are dubbed as ‘Future Ready’, we are expecting they would launch more LTE A supported phones in next few quarters to help out Jio’s plan.
‘Initially Jio can cover all major cities and towns where the speeds have come down’ he added. Though if Jio starts offering LTE A networks in major cities and towns in next 3 months, it would put pressure on rival networks who lack enough 4G infrastructure and have just begun rollout of basic LTE networks in some cities. With Carrier Aggregation, the future ready Jio network would be able to offer as much as 175 Mbps of download speed which is almost three to five times higher than the current speed.
As Jio is marching towards offering pure 4G experience to 100 million customers, offering LTE A networks would help them to gain high ARPU customers who are ready to pay for better data speeds than slow 3G networks.