Reliance Infotel to Begin Voice over LTE Trials – Can it Outmatch Existing Players on Voice Front?

By October 26th, 2012 AT 11:20 AM

It seems Reliance Industries owned Infotel Broadband has told the reason why they are not bidding for upcoming 2G spectrum. In a latest report RIL Infotel has asked Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to allocate mobile numbers as the company is ready to run trials of voice services on their yet-to-be-launched LTE-TDD network.

Infotel is the pan India BWA spectrum winner, and is going to be biggest competitor to Bharti Airtel in coming days. Bharti, following the acquisition of Qualcomm has BWA spectrum in 8 circles. But data market in India is still not so mature, 20% or less of revenue comes from data services for most of the mobile operators. So Infotel’s entry into voice market is unavoidable.

Analysts expected that RIL may bid for 2G spectrum to enter voice market, now as they did not it is strongly believed that RIL may be backing Videocon Industries who is bidding for both GSM (1800MHz) and CDMA (800MHz) spectrum.

Regarding Videocon’s plan to bid for CDMA spectrum, these circles can be category C type as 800MHz can provide more coverage while top circles will be bidded against 1800MHz band – this band is to be used for 2G services as well as LTE can deployed also. Globally more than 30% of commercial LTE roll out is happening on 1800MHz band.

Now to roll out VoLTE Reliance Infotel has 3 major difficulties.

1. To Ensure Mobility
Infotel has spectrum on 2300MHz. To be a top voice player first think they have to ensure that is blanket coverage. Currently 3G on 2100MHz is quite scarce and available in clusters. Infotel has to deploy extensive conventional base stations and wide spread small cells to match up 2G coverage for basic voice calls.

4G which We earlier told to provide last mile connectivity and will be more like a wireless but fixed broadband services (remember Airtel’s 4G LTE Router). With Infotel’s big plan a heat will be for BSNL – leader in fixed broadband market.

2. Technical Limitation
Globally voice services on LTE network are planned to be given by Circuit Switched Fallback (CSFB), where the voice calls are to be routed to 2G/3G networks. It is expected Airtel’s newly launched Huawei-made LTE smartphone will work this way.

But Infotel does not have any 2G/3G spectrum, so CSFB is not for them unless they tie up with a mobile operator.

3. Devices – Why People Buy a New Device?
Even if Infotel launched VoLTE and offer dirt cheap voice and data tariff, people have to buy a new device. Infotel is using LTE-TDD which is not so mature compared to LTE-FDD. So device ecosystem is yet to be developed, as a result price will be high. I am eagerly waiting to see RIL’s strategy to manage affordable LTE-TDD devices. Will Infotel be pioneer in LTE-TDD?

Now RIL is keeping its plans for Infotel venture very secret, and that’s why so much speculation. But I believe there is something good is coming.

Leave a Reply

Photo and Image Files
11 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
11 Comment authors
RijuMayank SinghRaghuchaitanyaTharun George Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted

zeeshan :
BSNL will provide 3G and 4G services on 900 Mhz band. BSNL has Pan India 900 MHz. Wait for few days BSNL will also enter in 4G arena with its 900 MHZ spectrum.

BSNL is already providing 4G service…They are using wi-max not LTE….The govt. cheated BSNL by giving spectrum which is not suitable for providing LTE

Mayank Singh
Mayank Singh

Right.Just few days back,Reliance asked for Government nod for Voice calls over 4G.

Recent Posts

BSNL and MTNL Asked to Explain the Turnaround Strategy by DCC for Financial Support

The Digital Communications Commission (DCC) on Thursday asked loss-making telecom PSUs BSNL and MTNL to explain their turnaround strategy and...

Oppo F9 Pro Price in India Reduced by Rs 2,000 Ahead of Oppo F11 Pro Launch

Oppo has now slashed the price of its F9 Pro smartphone in India by Rs 2,000. The new price of...

RCom Asked to Clear Dues of Rs 453 Crore to Ericsson Within Four Weeks

Observing there was a ‘wilful default’, the Supreme Court on Wednesday held Anil Ambani, chairman of Reliance Communications (RCom), guilty...