Reliance Jio is working day and night for rolling out its TD-LTE 4G services in India, and the company mentioned that it will rollout its 4G network within the stipulated time period. But, the 4G spectrum holders in India have recently approached the DoT for seeking yet another 5 years for the complete 4G rollout.
It has been 4 years since these operators won the spectrum auction for launching 4G services in India, but they still haven’t made much progress. Reliance Jio sped up its process of acquiring and installing network infrastructure just a few months, while Airtel had launched its 4G in a few cities. RJIL (Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd.) is hoping to launch its 4G network by 2015.
Reliance Jio, Airtel, and Aircel made a joint plea to the government for extending their 4G rollout deadlines through the COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India).
Airtel 4G is currently available in Pune, Bangalore, Chandigarh, and Kolkata but hasn’t gained much traction. Tikona and Augere, another 4G spectrum auction winner, hasn’t even announced its 4G launch plans.
What if the operators do not launch their 4G network by 2015?
If the operators do not launch their 4G network by next year, then they will face huge fines and can even lose their spectrum licence.
The reason for delayed launch:
Indian telecom operators are blaming the lack of technology ecosystem and slow government processes in the country for the causing the delay in launch of 4G networks in India.
The COAI is supporting the telecom operators on this by saying, “As the DoT is well aware, the inability of the operators to even launch the services on the allocated broadband spectrum is primarily on account of the delay in development of the requisite device and network ecosystem, a prime factor, which is predominantly out of the control of the telecom service providers.”
We really don’t know if it is really the lack of global technology that has caused delay in 4G rollout, but the government processes in India are definitely slow for sure. As per the current plans and pace, Reliance Jio might be able to launch its TD-LTE network by 2015 in almost 90% of the areas. And if it does so before other players, then it will definitely get the advantage of being an incumbent key 4G player.