After the mega success of reliance telecom, Mukesh Ambani’s is starting his new project of 4G telecom services.
As expected, Jamnagar Reliance Refinery Area will be the test-bed for 4G trials, last month RIL announced Nagpur, the geographic centre of India as hub for all 4G operations of RIL. RIL’s 4G rollout is done using Long Term Evolution or LTE technology. RIL has picked Huawei for the equipment provider, Huawei currently holds 50% of market of LTE equipments. 4G is a superior technology and is expected to provide high-speed internet browsing, VoLTE (Voice Over Long Term Evolution), HD video streaming, location-based services and downloads speeds up to 100GB per second (In Theory).
Experts are of a view that the market is still 3-4 years away, considering the current growth of 3G and the dismal infrastructure India has, also the devices capable of 4G are very limited and affordable only to high-end customers, even new iPad that boasts of 4G capabilities is fighting to prove its fitness for 4G in Australia and such devices are miles and miles away for Indian customers considering the prices, new Apple iPad (with 4G) ranges from 35,000 to 45,000. Although new iPad is not officially released in India, yet.
RIL, on its white paper on bid spectrum expects the prices fo bid at 8 times higher the cost of 3G spectrum, i.e. Rs 25,000 crore, so the infrastructure and roll out together with spectrum cost will be around Rs. 50,000 crore. Surely this more will make small investors and operators incapable to bid, but may yield excellent returns for government. Though many analysts see this as a pressure tactics by RIL, many operators may not get in 4G considering dismal infrastructure and soaring coasts of 3G spectrum.
If all goes according to the plans, RIL will get ample time to decide on the 4G spectrum, business model, pricing and services. This may come true thanks to upcoming revised 2G auctions.
TRAI claims that 3G constitutes only 3% of total wireless internet consumption in India, with 4G auctions to be announced in January and completed in few months time, RIL may look to book the 4G seat in advance.
Images: RIL and EconomicTimes