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Reliance Jio unveils 4G service for group staffers, commercial launch in March

Mukesh Ambani, CMD, RIL

Mukesh Ambani, CMD, RIL

Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, the telecommunications unit of Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries, has unveiled its widely anticipated 4G telephony service. Starting Monday, Reliance Jio’s 4G offerings would be available to RIL staffers. The commercial launch is scheduled for March, it is reliably understood.

“India is ranked around 150 in internet and mobile broadband penetration out of 230 countries. I have no doubt that with the launch of Jio, India’s rank will go up to among the top ten in the next few years,” Mukesh Ambani, chairman and MD of RIL, said in a press statement.

Testing

According to PC-Tablet, RJio has given out 70,000 4G mobile connections to its employees for testing various features ahead of the commercial launch. Reliance Jio is hitting the market with a range of 4G- enabled devices. A unit of RILis to unveil own-branded 4G LTE smartphones, christened LYF, for as low as Rs 4,000. With 4G, users can download videos, documents or songs in mere seconds while live streaming of full-length movies becomes seamless. Over the next three years, Reliance Jio plans to more than double its optical fibre network and connect over one million homes through it by April 2016. Mukesh wants the firm to achieve 100 per cent penetration in India over the next three years. Financial year 2016-17 would be the first full year of Reliance Jio’s commercial operations.

Glitzy launch

The soft launch coincides with the 83rd birth anniversary of RIL founder Dhirubhai Ambani. Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan and musician A R Rahman hosted the launch function on Sunday. Nearly 35,000 Reliance Group employees and their families were present for the launch, besides 80,000 staffers who tuned in through video link from 1,072 centres.

Telecom re-entry

With Reliance Jio, Mukesh has re-entered the telecommunications domain. He was the brain behind the formation of Reliance Communications, which eventually went to younger sibling Anil Ambani, as part of a family settlement deal in 2005. RIL had acquired Infotel Broadband Services within hours of the latter winning nationwide wireless broadband licence five years ago.

Liberalised spectrum

Reliance Jio holds the highest amount of liberalised spectrum among telecom operators which can be used for deploying any technology for mobile services. It has a total of 751.1 MHz spectrum across 800 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2300 MHz bands. According to field trials by brokerage firm Credit Suisse, download speed on 4G network of Reliance Jio during its beta-test phase peaked at 70 megabit per second but remained in 15-30 mbps range on most occasions.

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