Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJIL) has signed a deal with Samsung to procure BTS infrastructure for its 4G rollout, reports DNA. Sources familiar with the development told the newspaper that RJIL has signed a contract worth around $1.2 billion (Rs 7,500 crore) with the Korean company for supplying 70,000 BTS across India. So far, 20% or 14,000 BTS have already been supplied to RJIL by Samsung and it is expected to supply 1,200 BTS to RJIL for the Guwahati 4G launch.
Reliance Industries’s was earlier in talks with Samsung to buy LTE handsets, but apparently that deal fell through over pricing issues, as Reliance Jio Infocomm wanted the handsets to be priced at Rs 5,500 while Samsung refused to go below Rs 8,500 along with a commitment that Reliance purchase 3 million handsets from them.
In October the company had received its unified license for all 22 service areas across India. With this, the company had migrated its existing ISP license along with Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum to the Unified License regime with authorization for all services except Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite Service (GMPCS) under Unified License in all service areas.
RJIL apparently held talks with the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) in August for the proposed rollout of 4G services in Kolkata. Reliance Jio business head & state mentor (East) Tarun Jhunjhunwala had said that the project is valued at Rs 3,000 crore and they would be starting the project work soon, after receiving the requisite permissions. The work is expected to complete by Q1 2014.
In July, it had apparently secured a six month extension to test voice over LTE (VoLTE) service. It needs to be pointed out that the company had previously got around 10,000 mobile numbers for testing 4G services.
Only Airtel has rolled out 4G service in India till now and has spectrum to launch 4G services in four more circles, and more importantly, in the key cities of Mumbai and Delhi, as well as the states of Haryana and Kerala, after the acquisition of 100% stake in Qualcomm’s broadband wireless entity in India – Wireless Business Services Private Limited. That said, Airtel has launched 4G services only in Bangalore, Kolkata, Pune, Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali. The 4G service don’t appear to be doing particularly well either: the company had to reduce prices, but, apparently capped speeds to 10mbps.