A Citi Group report said that the excessive delay in Reliance Jio’s commercial 4G launch is frustrating investors, even as it said that the delay may be on the account of the company’s chase for perfection.
The Citi Group, in a note, said that the ensuing delay could be testing investors’ patience. It raises concerns of Jio further eroding its first mover advantage. “The capital expenditure targets also continue to go up,” the report said.
“RIL (Reliance Industries Ltd) is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring Jio does not over-promise and under-deliver,” the report said.
The company recently said that it plans to increase the coverage to 90 percent (from 70 percent) before the Jio launch. The report however said that a 3-6 month delay in the recently announced core projects does not impact estimate earnings of the company materially, since a meaningful contribution is assumed to come only by FY18 reports Economic Times.
Reliance Jio now plans to fully integrate Reliance Communication’s 800 MHz spectrum before the Jio launch (making it the only player with sub-1GHz pan-India LTE spectrum. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, in a separate note, said that Jio can commercially launch fast mobile broadband services only after it has integrated RCom’s airwaves with its own 4G frequencies in the 2300 Mhz and 1800 Mhz bands to “ensure a better quality 4G network.
The firm, however, said that the spectrum integration exercise leading to a commercial launch could take nearly six months to conclude. Reliance Jio and RCom earlier signed multi-circle airwaves sharing and trading pacts in the 850 Mhz band to jointly offer 4G services across India.
The US brokerage had said that the spectrum integration can happen only after RCom has switched off its CDMA network and migrated such customers to different (4G) bands.