4G in India: Reliance Jio and Samsung Aiming to Improve Indoor Connectivity

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4G in India is currently growing at a rapid pace and we all should thank Reliance Jio for that. Jio which started its operations just a couple of years ago has already made its mark in the industry- both in terms of tariff plans and 4G availability. But the 4G connectivity indoors has always been an issue with all the telcos in India. Reliance Jio is looking to address this issue as its partnership with Samsung will ensure that the South Korean company will deploy indoor cells for improved 4G coverage indoors. Furthermore, as you might be aware of, Jio has set a goal of covering 99% of the Indian population and this new deployment will be a step towards achieving the same.


Reliance Jio to Reach 99% Coverage Soon

Senior Vice President and Head of Networks Business at Samsung India, Srini Sundararajan told ET Telecom, “We have seen drive happening on indoor small cells. But that doesn't mean that outdoor isn't happening. Outdoor is happening at a good speed basis the site availability and so on.” He further added, “We will continue to expand on this piece of the network [indoor] because there are places where it's more value to go that way.”

On its connection with Reliance Jio, the executive said, “Jio tells us what their network requirements are, and we support…indoor always volume looks larger because devices are smaller and are easy to deploy and are self-configured.”

Notably, this is not the first time that Samsung Networks has bagged contract for equipment deployment from Reliance Jio. The Korean giant has been the sole equipment provider for Reliance Jio since the beginning and had also worked with the telco to deploy equipment in 140,000 sites for pan India coverage.

Right now, the case seems to be a little bit different, as this time Reliance Jio is focusing on both coverage and capacity. As per Sundararajan’s statement to ET, Reliance Jio is deploying equipment for both capacity and coverage. While quite a chunk of Samsung's effort has been dedicated for coverage, most sites have been targeted to be deployed for capacity. Further, to empower its 4G deployment, Reliance Jio is also taking help of MIMO technology where it is not able to add new sites easily. Not only that, but Samsung Networks is also providing Reliance Jio with the new technology of virtualised packet cores which will play a crucial role in the 5G network.

Samsung Networks to Work Closely with DoT

Samsung Networks is also working closely with the Department of Telecommunications to conduct field trials of 5G in New Delhi in the coming quarter of 2019. Going by Sundararajan’s words, Samsung Networks has a lot to offer like it did in the case of 4G. He also asserted that the company would be working closely with the government in this matter to make sure that it understands the needs of the government. The executive further added that the involvement of the centre is crucial in this regard because a lot of 5G use cases will also have societal value and not just business value. He also regarded the government’s involvement in the project as very imperative for a successful commercial rollout of 5G.

Sundararajan also highlighted that Samsung would resort to using the millimetre wave (mm-wave) spectrum for conducting these 5G field tests. The exec’s reasoning behind this is the availability of a large chunk of spectrum which would mean 5G use cases like fixed wireless access (FWA) which would be enabling data services to have huge data capacity. Sundararajan said, “We need to have the technology in the mmwave to enable the true vision of the government.”

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