Friday, 24 January 2014

Reliance Jio wants to go solo, targets Diwali for roll-out

At a time when the telecom sector is heading towards consolidation, Reliance Jio plans to roll out telecom infrastructure on its own and is unlikely to buy an existing player.
Over the last one year there has been a market buzz that Reliance Jio could acquire telecom assets of one of the struggling telecom companies, including Aircel and Reliance Communications, in a bid to speed up the roll out.

Reliance Jio had won spectrum in 2010, but has not launched services till now. Under the licence conditions, the company is expected to complete roll out obligation within five years.
 “We are targeting to launch services this Diwali (October) or December. We are confident of rolling it out to meet licence conditions as it is just 3 years since we got the licence,” a senior Executive from Reliance said.
Reliane Jio had earlier done an infrastructure sharing deal with Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications. In addition to telecom services the company is looking to offer television channels on its fourth generation (4G) broadband network.
As part of the entertainment bouquet, the company is planning live TV and Video-on-Demand, with HD viewing experience. It also includes Catch-up TV, which eliminates the need for recording programmes. But, the spectrum band could be a key challenge for the company.
Compared to other frequency bands such as 800 MHz and 900 MHz, the 2300 MHz is considered to be inefficient in terms of coverage.
Experts said that it would be difficult for any player to offer pan-India carpet network using 2300 MHz alone. Therefore, it will be interesting to see how Reliance Jio bids in the upcoming auction for spectrum.


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