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Reliance’s First Big 4G Partnership: Homeland Security Solutions With Siemens

Even before announcing a timeline for the launch of its 4G services, Reliance Industries, through its subsidiary company, Reliance Security Solutions, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Siemens for homeland security solutions which will leverage its 4G network. Reliance, which has a pan-India license to run Broadband Wireless Access services following its acquisition of Infotel, intends to offer networked security services using video and other security applications, and is eyeing an integration with large scale city and highway projects for surveillance and law-enforcement.  It is the only private entity to have high speed spectrum across India, after Infotel won 4G/BWA spectrum in the 22 circles for which an auction was conducted last year.

The company claims to have an integrated security automation system consisting of over 12,000 cameras apart from other security sensors, radars, and video analytics among others, and says it has been running command and control centres for security of its own infrastructure. Siemens also develops security solutions featuring video surveillance and connected command and control systems.

RIL & 4G

So far, all has been quiet on the 4G front – apart from an initial announcement,  it has kept its cards close to its chest, and few formal announcements have been made. Reports have suggested that Jagdish Kumar has been as President – Media and Entertainment, and RIL’s 4G plans are led by Jyotindra Thacker. It is expected to launch 4G, which – according to industry rumors – is probably going to serve two functions – as a backhaul for 3G services (since existing mobile operators have limited spectrum), and mobile broadband services. RIL had said that it intends to deploy WiMAX, and then graduate services to LTE when it matures in two years. It had plans to invest Rs. 18,000-20,000 crore to roll out services.

This announcement indicates that RIL will leverage 4G for offering large scale commissioned projects and for enterprise services, since margins would be high.

The retail uptake of 4G services is expected to be slow, unless RIL initiates a price war in the segment and most importantly, the device ecosystem evolves.

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