cmn_Reliance JioAfter launching its 4G services for employees only on the 27th of December, Reliance Jio (RJIL) will be launching its 4G offerings commercially starting March, reports Vccircle. Overall, RJIL currently claims to have given out 70,000 4G mobile connections to its employees for testing ahead of the commercial launch.

Note that we had reported in October that RJIL’s commercial 4G launch was likely to happen by March 2016, contrary to the company’s previous statement that it would launch by the end of 2015. At the time, the company said that it would roll out internet services in beta, which would involve “millions of customers” across the country.

Credit Suisse’s Research & Analytics report: Last month, Credit Suisse’s Research and Analytics released its assessment of Reliance Jio’s 4G field trials and said the network speeds averaged at around 15-30 Mbps download speeds. The firm also said that calls over Jio connections work as well as regular phone calls.

Presence in 18,000 cities: In July, RJIL claimed that it was present in all 29 states in India and had a direct physical presence in nearly 18,000 cities and towns. It also claimed to have built an optical fibre network consisting nearly 250,000 route kilometres.

Fundraise: In October, Reliance Jio said it would raise Rs 3000 crore by issuing secured redeemable non-convertible debentures on private placement basis. The company had also  raised a $750 million loan (~Rs 4500 crore) from nine banks on a 10 year repayment period, to finance goods and services from Samsung and Ace Technologies in May.

4G network rollout in India:

– Last month, Idea Cellular launched its 4G services starting with 5 south Indian states; Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Telangana and Tamil Nadu.

– The same month, Vodafone launched its 4G services starting with Kochi, Kerala. The 4G services were launched on the 1800 Mhz band, spectrum that Vodafone had acquired in 11 circles in this year’s auctions held in March.

– In October, Tikona Digital said it would start providing 4G broadband services in the first half of 2016 across 30 cities in five telecom circles.

– In August, Videocon said it would launch its 4G services in MP, Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab by the end of this year.

– Airtel, which launched commercial operations for 4G services in 296 towns and cities in August, is currently offering 4G data packs starting from Rs 25.

Also read: Reliance Jio’s Jyotindra Thacker: “You’ll see an unleashing of bandwidth”