Reliance Communications and Reliance Jio Infocomm are apparently all set to ink a pact that will enable the latter company to offer 4G services over the 800 MHz band across 10 circles. News of the deal comes soon after the Union Cabinet allowed sharing of airwaves between telcos.
Through the deal Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio will have access to 10MHz of continuous 4G bandwidth in Mumbai, UP-East, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Assam, Northeast, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir.
Reliance Jio acquired 49 units in the 800MHz band across the 10 circles at Rs 7,876 crore. However, it has continuous 800 MHz airwaves only in 4 out of the 10 circles whereas RCOM has continuous bandwidth in all of them.
Neither company has officially confirmed the existence of the deal.
Conversion of non-continuous airwaves in the 800MHz spectrum to continuous frequencies is critical for Reliance Jio to deliver high-speed 4G LTE services. The 800 MHz spectrum has historically been used for CDMA services.
Jio is trying to stitch together a 4G network with higher frequencies in the 2300 MHz band which can’t penetrate concrete walls, but the lower frequency 800 MHz band can. It’s for this reason that the deal becomes so important for Reliance Jio to roll out its 4G network.