Mukesh Ambani managed Reliance Jio Infocomm’s network roll-out is clearing the air that this will not be a small-scale, niche network but a geographically spread, large-scale rollout. Though media reports indicated RJio roll out to happen with 45,000 towers connected, our sources inside Reliance have indicated a definite 30,000 towers being connected by late 2014.
Reliance Jio’s massive investments made in Optical Fiber Cables, Tower Sharing Deal with Every Telecom Tower Company in India, Dual Mode LTE Deployment, core network (Evolved Packet Core) has been installed for all 22 circles makes it imperative for Reliance Jio Infocomm to target the entire telecom revenue base, and not just data revenues. However, it is possible that RJio hits the market first with a data-only solution (dongles or MiFi or M2M), and follows up with a handset-based voice service a couple of months later. With this Mukesh Ambani has clearly set his eyes on being the Number One Carrier for Internet of Things in India.
Reliance Jio SmartPhone & Device Strategy for Voice Calls
Even though the device ecosystem is not fully mature, but the debate is no longer on technological feasibility but on commercial feasibility (i.e., affordability of devices). In this context, the rapid strides in the global LTE ecosystem (also aided by China Mobile’s rollout) suggest that by the end of this year/early next year, affordable LTE smartphones should become available. Given the scale of investments being pumped in (comparable in magnitude to what Airtel and Idea have invested in their lifetimes), we believe Reliance Jio will certainly have Retail Voice as an integral part of its business plan which is still 80% of Indian Telecom market.
Reliance Jio too to embrace Microwave Backhaul for Connectivity
We were the first in Global media to highlight that a large chunk of Indian Telecom Network relies on Microwave Backhaul due to ill governance in the system not letting Telcos lay OFC. Even though Reliance Jio Infocomm has completed 50% of its OFC cabling through HFCL, we have reliably learnt that RJio appears to have settled on microwave as a near-term fix for backhaul. We understand the initial order for 25,000-30,000 microwave units has already gone out. The fact that the new generation microwave equipment has superior throughput (400Mbps+) could ease the near term pressure for the company.
The Writing on the Corridors of Reliance Jio Infocomm is very clear –Make Reliance Jio the preferred Carrier of for Internet of Things in India.