The Mukesh Ambani-headed company, Reliance Industries (RIL) is all set to roll out the next generation services (or 4G) in India sometime in early 2012, and is planning to scale it up to a nationwide network by the mid of 2012.
According to a source, RIL is planning to offer 4G enabled data cards for tablets which are priced at Rs. 3,000 ($60) or lesser. It plans to provide data connectivity with speeds of 50-100 Mbps at cheaper prices compared to the current 3G services.
RIL confirmed stating that its telecom unit was “in the process of setting up a world-class broadband wireless network using state-of-the-art technologies and finalising the arrangement with leading global technology players, service providers, infrastructure providers, application developers, device manufacturers and others to help usher the 4G revolution into India”.
It is also noted that RIL is in talks with Walt Disney’s Indian venture UTV Software, to acquire content for its wireless broadband services. With this, Reliance will be able to offer games, entertainment and applications which are mainly targeted towards the younger generation. However, the deal is yet to be finalized and hopefully we will see a positive reply.
The company indicated that it has completed trial tests with vendors like Alcatel Lucent, Ericsson and China’s Huawei for its broadband services and will be partnering with either one of them or might split the contract between the three.
Amabani’s strategy of tantalizing customers with low prices is very much similar to the winning strategy in 2003, where the company started selling mobile phones at a very low rate, mainly targeting the middle class people. This made RIL win more than 1 million customers in just 10 days.
Reliance took over Infotel Broadband Service Pvt. Ltd in June 2010. RIL agreed upon the terms and invested about Rs. 4,800 crore, and following the investment, RIL acquired 95% of Infotel Broadband’s equity. RIL plans to have full scale commercial operations by next year, and expects to have its network cross over 700 cities.
According to a post by Reliance Industries, 4G broadband service contracts are expected to be finalized between the October-December 2011 quarter and operators, including Reliance Infotel, are expected to start rolling out services to consumers by early 2012 when favorable operational conditions are in place, which includes design and production of latest handsets, data cards and updated networks.