Reliance Jio is likely to soft launch 4G LTE services in the country by the end of this month, while the full commercial offering was expected by December, global financial services firm UBS said in a note.
The firm said that its channel checks in Mumbai and Delhi suggest that Jio’s 4G SIM have been shipped to the retail outlets, however they are not yet available for sale. "At present, Jio SIM cards are only available to Reliance employees, post its beta launch in December 2015,” it added.
UBS said that its speed test on trial SIM cards in Reliance outlets indicate network speed of 18-20 Mbps versus Vodafone's 4G speed of 8-10 Mbps.
It further added that Jio may initially roll-out bundled 4G offering on a limited basis with LYF-branded devices, whereas SIM sale on standalone basis will happen only in the second half of 2016.
"We believe the delay in Jio launch has helped market leaders to strengthen their 4G offerings," said the report, adding while also suggesting that the market may be overly concerned over Jio's disruptive impact and ignoring rapid data growth in Indian mobile market.
In India, Airtel has already rolled out its 4G LTE services in 15 circles, while Vodafone and Idea Cellular have launched services in all of their licensed circles. Idea started in 575 towns across its 10 circles, while Vodafone is has a presence in five circles.