Indian Telcos May Hoard 4G spectrum On the back of increased data demand

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Indian telecom operators are on the verge of acquiring additional 4G spectrum in the country to meet the spiced up popularity for mobile internet. After the entrance of Reliance Jio to India, things have changed, and the consumers have become more data friendly when compared to their dependency on voice calling a couple of years of ago.


And one of the clear signs of this is the recent acquisition of Tikona's 4G business by India's largest telecom network, Bharti Airtel. With Reliance Jio's free 4G services drawing to an end in the next four days, incumbent operators are looking to latch on the opportunity in coming months by delivering better data services than the new entrant.

Sanjay Kapoor, the former CEO of Bharti Airtel, speaking with Economic Times said as “When you see a monumental jump in data consumption demand in a very short span, any Jio competitor will need to tank up on 4G capacity spectrum at the earliest to support comparable data services offerings to ring-fence the experience of upper-tier customers, especially video content.”

He also urged that Jio has 'overnight triggered a near thirtyfold jump in data offered to subscribers.' Earlier, the average data consumption per month for each user was around 750MB to 900MB, but with the advent of Jio, the number has become 28GB per customer per month. This is another reason why telecom operators are looking to stabilise their 4G infrastructure in the country. In addition, operators are now investing in 2300MHz and 2500MHz bands.

He also said that the companies have to look beyond the 4G spectrum and should be "backed with sizeable capex/opex in electronics (base stations, routers, and antennae), backhaul and customer experience to make meaningful sense of the raw material, as in capacity airwaves."

Reliance Jio is currently ruling the Indian telecom sector with its aggressive data plans and to match the new entrant's offerings, other telecom operators have come with their plans and merged with each other due to the immense pressure. Besides Airtel acquiring Tikona and Telenor, India's second and third largest telecom operators, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, have formed a separate entity that is expected to rule the Indian telecom industry in the future.

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Telecom Analyst

Passionately following the Indian #Telecom Industry for over a decade from Business, Consumer and a Technical perspective. My primary focus area is Consumer & Digital Experience.

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