Reliance Jio & RCom Announce 4G Spectrum Sharing Deal


Cell Tower Spectrum Sharing Deal

Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd and Reliance Communications Limited have announced signing of Agreements for Change in Spectrum Allotment in 800 MHz band across 9 Circles from RCOM to RJIL and for Sharing of Spectrum in 800 MHz band across 17 Circles. As part of the strategic collaboration, both Companies also intend to sign a reciprocal Intra Circle Roaming  arrangements.

Existing and new customers of Reliance Communication will benefit from access to Reliance Jio’s world class LTE network under the reciprocal sharing and ICR agreements said the press release sent to us.

The arrangement between the two companies are subject to liberalization of RCOM spectrum in the 800 MHz band and obtaining requisite approvals.

This arrangement was being talked about for a few weeks now, and finally it has been announced. This agreement will help both companies extend their reach, increase network capacity and optimize spectrum utilization for both.

Reliance Communication as well as Reliance Jio Infocomm have already signed a long term IRU agreement for inter and intra city optical fibre networks, and for sharing of telecom tower infrastructure.

RCom have recently acquired 800/850 Mhz spectrum from their acquisition of MTS.

Telecom War: RJio, RCom Vs Airtel, Idea Vodafone

Indian Telecom Industry is currently seeing war of sorts, especially in 4G Data space, which every telecom operator is running after – With this agreement in place, both RJio and RCom will have larger access to superior 800 Mhz CDMA spectrum suited for 4G LTE (long-term evolution).

On the other hand, India’s top 3 GSM operators Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular are wary about significant 800 Mhz spectrum share that Ambani brothers have at their disposal. Earlier in October, both brothers had accused India’s top three GSM carriers of using Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) as a platform to “skew market competition and continue the monopoly of a select few members in the 4G space. They blamed COAI for trying to stonewall their efforts to liberalize 800 MHz holdings.

The Top 3 GSMN operators had previously demanded to raise the cost of liberalizing CDMA airwaves and reducing permissible 10 MHz cap of such spectrum.

Other Developments

Reliance Jio Launch: The Jio services were officially launched at a mega event held on December 27th. However, the services are currently available only to 1 lakh Reliance employees across India. The date of commercial launch has not been announced yet, but they are expected to be around March or April 2016.

Reliance Jio Tests: In November, Reliance Jio showcased their 4G data services by offering their Wi-Fi hotspots at the Wankhede Stadium during One Day International between India and South Africa. Close to 15 thousands spectators used RJio’s 4G services. During the course of the match RJio set a World record for fastest average data speed for public sports event.

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