Reliance Jio looks at Odisha for 4G Services Rollout

Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance JioInfocomm has started discussions with the OdishaGovernment on launch of the 4G ultra-broadband wireless internet services in the State. The State Housing and Urban Development department has asked RIL to submit a concrete proposal on development of infrastructure for the purpose.

Reliance JioInfocomm, a subsidiary of MukeshAmbani-controlled RIL, has got the licences for nationwide launch of 4G services across 22 circles, including Odisha. The fourth generation broadband services will enable high speed data transfer and access to the tune of over 100 mbps while 3G speeds are limited to around 21 mbps at the fastest. The speed of data access can facilitate uninterrupted real-time audio-video streaming and sharing along with smooth video calling, chats and conferences. It is being hailed as a game-changer by facilitating everything that 3G could not.

The telecom company has entered into a partnership with Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications for sharing the latter’s Base Transceiver Station (BTS) sites as well as the optical fibre cable (OFC) network for rollout of 4G. The company has earmarked a total sum of around INR 7000 crore to invest in the eastern region comprising West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam and the North-East for 4G roll-out. Reliance Communications has about 510 3G BTS sites and 25,000 km-long OFC network in Odisha. While sharing the infrastructure, RIL will have to set up its own infrastructure like 4G towers to give shape to the services, sources said.

The decision to launch this ultra-high speed 4G service in Odisha comes on the background of 3G (third generation telecom) services struggling to establish a firm foothold in Odisha despite being launched more than two years ago. 3G services are available in only around 20 towns and cities as of now and are administered bythree players BSNL, Reliance and Aircel. The customer base is measly, at around 4 lakh, while total mobile subscribers in the State have crossed 2.40 crores.

According to sources, the main hurdle for 3G in Odisha has been lack of coverage coupled with high tariffs. Despite proclaiming high speed connectivity and data transfers, actual user experience has not been up to the mark.The service providers, though, have begun to slash prices to drive adoption among consumers.

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