LTE Stories in Africa & Indonesia Suggest Reliance Jio’s Success in Data-Starved India

Reliance Jio is all ready with guns and bullets as the commercial operations will go live by December this year. While everyone concerned believe that Jio will disrupt the market causing existing players to bleed, let’s take a look at how Jio’s data- only model can work in India.


Though Jio has been in the limelight of technology media from the very first, we were actually given information by Jio only as much as they wanted us to know. Still there is no update about Jio’s voice policy – is it VOLTE or VoIP or a fall back to Reliance Communications’ 2G network?

Jio wants to be more than just a data service provider; rather they have pushed their fiber plan to reach millions of Indians’ homes. They have laid some, borrowed from others and have become a part of international submarine cable (Bay of Bengal Gateway).

Without voice or being a ‘dumb pipe’ model is nothing new. Rather, before LTE went mainstream, there were some WIMAX players who relied upon data- only model. Some succeeded, some did not – but everyone moved to LTE eventually.
Let us take a look at how LTE has changed the scenario in Africa and Indonesia.

In Africa, there has been a recent surge in telecom investment, and a lot is coming in the form of LTE deployment. There are several players who earlier rolled out WiMAX, and are now offering LTE.
A List of Africa’s data- only LTE operators:
Smile in Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria and the DRC (FD-LTE on 800MHz)
Yoomee in Cameroon and Ivory Coast (TD-LTE)
Surfline in Ghana (FD-LTE on 2.6GHz)
Afrimax in Uganda, Rwanda, the DRC, Malawi, Ghana, Mali, Guinea, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Togo and Burundi (TD-LTE on 2.3 or 2.6GHz)
** The list is not complete.

These operators are investing in LTE to connect these African countries which are very much starved of high speed internet. In India, the situation is almost similar. So Jio, which comes with just data services, can be successful. Though, Jio has plans to disrupt the market with a mix of price game, a bucket of services and better connectivity.

If we consider Indonesian telecom space in comparison, it can be found that among 4G-LTE players, Bolt! is a better choice for the people in Indonesia. Bolt! started services from scratch and had limited coverage – only in Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi (Jabodetabek)- but with superb connectivity backed by 2000+ BTS on LTE-TD-2300. Still now Bolt! has offered better LTE speed and cheaper tariff compared to other carriers. Bolt! is focused on only data services; they don’t offer voice services. And analytic firms say entry by Bolt! has caused atleast 25% drop in data tariffs in Indonesia.

So globally LTE is there to rock and it’s helping carriers to create success stories. It is to be hoped that Jio would go in this similar line to help in forming Digital India.

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35 Comments on "LTE Stories in Africa & Indonesia Suggest Reliance Jio’s Success in Data-Starved India"


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July 17, 2015 3:14 am 3:14 AM

Mukesh Ambani in RIL annual meeting has said that Reliance Jio to provide 4G handsets with an entry
price of below Rs 4,000 and voice and data services at Rs 300-500 per month

premjith koshy
July 16, 2015 7:55 pm 7:55 PM

whats their voice strategy especially in the circles where they have neither 1800 nor 800 mhz spectrum.? any idea, guys?

Pratap Madgulkar
July 16, 2015 10:25 am 10:25 AM
unfair practices issues mentioned by sachin is very mush important from user point of view. Reliance wireline broadband has “N” number of issues apart from their service . > If connection is down no solution for a weeks time and no effect of this on bill > unfair billing and charges if landline is not working > closing any connection is hugh problem I feel Govt is also working faster than reliance wireline connection closing people. > They wont remove modem and all stuff from your house for 6 months after the connection > I order them to close connection… Read more »
July 18, 2015 2:28 pm 2:28 PM

reliance broadband is owned by anil ambani..and 4g jio is mukesh ambani’s product.. i am a reliance customer since 2007… i faced very few issues…

July 16, 2015 5:14 pm 5:14 PM
Stop maligning Reliance Wireline Broadband! Me and many people I know are using it and it is one of the best, especially because it has FUP less true unlimited plans. In my case the complaint is resolved within 24 hours and confirmation call comes. If problem lasts more than 3 days, you can get waiver on request. Same goes for wrong billing which never happens. Closing the connection takes some time but not more than a month. I closed my landline and like all service providers, they tried to dissuade me but eventually had to terminate it. I was refunded… Read more »