HOME > BUSINESS > Reliance Jio, RCom set to dethrone Vodafone as king of Mumbai

Reliance Jio, RCom set to dethrone Vodafone as king of Mumbai

RCOMReliance Jio and its partner Reliance Communications are all set to emerge as the strongest wireless connectivity provider in Mumbai and at least eight other circles, going by the latest regulatory filing by RCom.

The Anil Ambani company today told the exchanges that the government of India has approved a plan by the two companies to pool each of their 800 MHz spectrum blocks in nine circles to form a mega network.

These circles are Mumbai, UP(E), MP, Bihar, Odisha, Haryana, HP, Assam and North East.

To realize the implications of the move, we can take the example of Mumbai, which has been facing extreme data shortage for several years.

Vodafone is by far the most dominant operator in the city and according to some estimates, Mumbai alone accounts for nearly half of the profit of the operator from India.

Part of the reason is historical, as Vodafone has a long history in the commercial capital of India, starting out as Orange, continuing its journey as Hutch and ending up as Vodafone.

In comparison, its biggest competitor today, Airtel, was hamstrung by the absence of suitable spectrum in the circle right from the beginning. The Sunil Mittal company entered the circle late and had to be content with the low-penetration 1800 MHz spectrum.

As a result, while Vodafone’s signals were available everywhere, Bharti faced a problem with ensuring indoor coverage in Mumbai’s thickly-populated concrete jungle. It resolved much of this problem last year when it finally launched on the 900 MHz band, but by then, Vodafone had entrenched itself into the market.

JIO-RCOM TO BE KING

But if Vodafone was able to dominate the market with just 5 MHz of 900 band spectrum in the voice era, its position in the upcoming data-centric world threatens to be totally different.

In data, Vodafone has only about 26 MHz of spectrum (including up and down channels) in Mumbai, out of which 10 MHz is utilized for 3G.

Out of the 26 MHz, only 13 MHz is available for downlink traffic as the other half is reserved for uplinking due to the FDD technology used by Vodafone.

Besides the meager quantum, the important thing to note is that this entire data spectrum is in the 2 GHz band (1.8 GHz and 2.1 GHz).

Spectrum that has a frequency higher than 1 GHz tends to bounce off walls instead of penetrating inside them — one of the major reasons why Airtel was not able to challenge Vodafone in the Mumbai market with its 1.8 GHz spectrum.

Now contrast this with the situation of Reliance Jio and RCom.

According to today’s regulatory filing, Mumbai is one of the nine circles where both parties will pool their 850 MHz spectrum.

This means that there is a total of 20 MHz of 4G spectrum in the 800 MHz band at their disposal.

Add to this, another 10.8 MHz in the 1800 band, 10 MHz in the 2100 band and 20 MHz in the 2300 band and the total comes to 60 MHz, out of which 50 MHz is for 4G and 10 MHz for 3G.

In pure extent, the Jio-RCom combination have over twice the high-speed data spectrum that Vodafone has.

The situation becomes even more stark if you look only it 4G spectrum. Here, Vodafone has only 16.4 MHz, while Jio+RCom has 50 MHz — or three times as much.

But the biggest problem that Vodafone faces is not even the size of the holdings, but its frequency. Out of Jio-RCom’s 50 MHz, 20 lies below the 1 GHz mark, while Vodafone has nothing in this band.

It is this sub-GHz spectrum that will prove to be big advantage that the new combine has compared to the market leader.

Just like Vodafone drove out everyone else with its 900 MHz spectrum in the voice service, the Jio-RCom combine could decimate the incumbent with its 800 MHz 4G offering that will be available inside and outside buildings equally.

Across India, the Jio-RCom service will be the only one to have a 4G service in the sub-GHz bands, giving them an incredible edge over rivals such as Bharti and Idea.

ALL IS NOT LOST

However, all is not lost for Vodafone, and coming in the shape of a white knight this time is the government.

The government will put up for auction an estimated 70 MHz of very-high-penetration 700 MHz airwaves next month.

Though the price is very high, nobody doubts that Vodafone will buy 10 or 20 MHz  of this spectrum at least in its key circles like Mumbai. This will once again even the scales, as the 700 MHz band can go even further inside the buildings than can the 800 MHz.

Besides, Vodafone will be able to almost immediately start work on rolling out the 700 MHz network as the spectrum is lying unused and can be handed over quickly, though some bureaucratic delays cannot be ruled out.

Still, a 700-MHz powered Vodafone network cannot be a reality before the end of this year, and during this six months, the RCom-Jio combine could drive home their advantage by building a solid reputation for consistency and high speeds.
[socialpoll id=”2353387″]

Follow ULTRA.news
New technology makes telecom cheaper, but hurts tower companies A technology that has been around for almost a decade is now getting deployed on a large scale by Indian telecom operators to deploy 2G, 3G and 4G networks using the same base station.A Nokia illustration on old vs new situationThis could hit the revenue and growth prosp...
Bharti Airtel to offer cheap 4G plans for all dongle users – report With new operator Reliance Jio snapping at its heels, incumbent Bharti Airtel has decided to slash its data prices for everyone with the introduction of new 4G dongle plans, Telecom Talk blog reported quoting unnamed sources.At present, Bharti Airtel does not offer any plan t...
Bharti Airtel slashes home broadband tariff ahead of Jio Fiber launch Ahead of the launch of Jio Fiber by Reliance, Bharti Airtel slashed its home broadband prices with a new set of cheaper plans.The new plans now offer up to 100% more high speed data benefits within the same monthly rentals, the company said. Existing customers will b...
Bharti Airtel could help Reliance Jio win Rs 2,000 cr from DoT Bharti Airtel's attempts to avoid paying "voice conversion charge" on the spectrum that it is purchasing from internet service provider Tikona Digital could end up unintentionally benefiting arch rival Reliance Jio.Reliance Jio was forced to pay around Rs 1,650 cr four ye...
Airtel, Idea and Vodafone close to network sharing deal Fierce competition from new entrant Reliance Jio is pushing the incumbent telecom operators Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone India to accelerate negotiations to allow them to use each other's full networks.As of now, these operators only share 'passive' or 'dead' in...
Reliance Jio puts more 4G spectrum to use to increase speeds Reliance Jio, the 4G operator that has taken the market by storm, has deployed the extra spectrum that it bought last year, increasing the total spectrum in use in most markets by 20-25%.In most circles, Jio is operating with about 40-50 MHz of spectrum, and with the new sp...
4,196 villages lose Idea Cellular 2G signal as 876 towers taken offline Idea's tower growth, by technologyIdea Cellular, India's third largest telecom operator by revenue, reported a shrinkage in the area and population covered by its 2G network.The number of villages covered by Idea's 2G signals decreased by 4,196 to 3.89 lakh by March end ...
Bharti Airtel to start refarming 2G spectrum for 4G this year India's largest telecom services company by revenue and spectrum holding, Bharti Airtel, will start diverting its 2G spectrum to add to its 4G network in the second half of the ongoing financial year, the company's CEO said.The move will help increase 4G capacity of the o...
Idea Cellular to spend Rs 6,000 cr on VoLTE, expansion of 4G & 3G this year Idea Cellular, the telecom company controlled by the Aditya Birla group, said it will spend Rs 6,000 cr to expand its 3G and 4G services in the current financial year.Idea tower additions per yearThe planned investment of Rs 6,000 cr has been "earmarked for expanding bro...
Airtel Broadband to upgrade users to 40 Mbps V Fiber plans to beat Reliance Jio Locations of Airtel V Fiber servicesAirtel Broadband, India's second largest wired broadband service, will upgrade nearly all its DSL customers to its new 'V Fiber' vectorization technology that offers speeds of 40 Mbps, compared to 4-8 Mbps under the traditional ADSL 2 tech...
Bharti Airtel is successfully adopting the Reliance Jio model It is not every day that a new entrant forces the established players in the market to overhaul their business models. But Reliance Jio seems to be doing just that, and rivals like Bharti Airtel are proving to be quick, if slightly unwilling, learners.In the three months from...
Govt yet to decide on 700 MHz spectrum for BSNL Relative cell sizes | source:DoJ, US GovGovernment of India is yet to say 'no' to a request by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd for the allocation of one block of spectrum in the precious 700 MHz band to enable it to launch 4G services in rural areas.The company had sought one b...
BSNL increases 3G data allocation for most prepaid recharges BSNL's new 3G plansReacting to falling usage of data on its network, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd has increased the data available on its recharges, and introduced a daily data scheme priced at Rs 3099 for 90 days.The operator had, on Apr 1, doubled the data available on mo...
Reliance Jio’s Fiber preview to start in Mumbai, Rs 4,500 security deposit – Report You Broadband plans in MumbaiMumbai will be the first city to get preview services of Reliance Jio's Fiber services, which will come with a monthly cap of 100 GB of high-speed data, India Today reported, adding that users will have to pay Rs 4,500 as a refundable security de...
Reliance Jio to start trial services for fiber soon across India Reliance Jio, the biggest carrier of wireless data in the world, said it will expand beta trials of its fiber-to-the-home services in the 'next few months' across India.It has already started these trials in "a few locations", which would be expanded city by city. According t...
RCom shareholders approve Aircel merger The shareholders of Reliance Communications approved the demerger of the wireless operations of the company into Aircel Limited and Dishnet Wireless Limited, the Anil Ambani Group company said.The Scheme was also approved at a meeting called on the directions of the National ...
Why Reliance Jio will keep data prices low for 2 years: Credit Suisse explains Wireless data prices in India, which crashed from Rs 250 per GB to about Rs 10 per GB after the entry of Reliance Jio, will continue to remain under pressure for at least two more years, said analyst firm Credit Suisse.That is the minimum amount of time that the new entrant w...
Net Neutrality: Vodafone wants right to manipulate Internet videos Telcos want to be able to reduce video qualityVodafone India said it would like to be given the power to manage the size of videos watched by users on its mobile network and lower it automatically "for overall quality welfare".Participating in the discussions related to ...
Telcos Change Tack as Net Neutrality Fight Enters Final Round in India A campaign by Internet Freedom FoundationIf you thought the fight over net neutrality was over with the sending of 1 mln emails to the TRAI two years ago, think again.The telecom service providers, who lost out that in the first round, are back. This time, however, their...
Amazon Fire TV Stick Launch: Airtel offers 100 GB data free Bharti Airtel said it would provide 100 GB of free high-speed data to anyone who purchases Amazon’s Fire TV Stick in India.The offer is available to Airtel customers on broadband as well as '4G Home Wifi', but not to normal, handset-based 4G users.The data quota can b...
AirAsia offers 15% off to Reliance Jio customers AirAsia said it will offer a 15% discount to all customers of Reliance Jio for flights booked this month for travel between Jun 20 to Sep 30."All Reliance Jio customers get 15% off on domestic and international flights," the airline tweeted.The booking has to be done us...
Complaints against telcos drop sharply as 4G takes off No of complaints against telcos in last three years. 2017 nos are annualizedComplaints against all telecom providers except Bharti Airtel dropped in 2016, possibly in reaction to the emergence of new operator Reliance Jio and the explosion of 4G data capacity.The total n...
Airtel to offer 2 GB/day for ₹349, 3.5GB for 999 to take on Reliance Jio Airtel will unveil cheaper data tariffs soonIndia's largest telecom services company by revenue -- Bharti Airtel -- is in the process of rolling out new plans including one that offers 2 GB of data per day at just Rs 349 in addition to unlimited calling for 28 days, according ...
Working Reliance Jio ‘DTH’ video uploaded by Gujarat-based test user the video of the so-called Jio DTHA video of a working Reliance Jio 'DTH' TV has been leaked by a Gujarat-based Youtube user, even as Airtel unveiled its own 'Internet TV' today.The Youtube user demonstrates a working set-top-box, complete with HD channels and various ot...
Airtel Digital launches first-of-its-kind Android set-top-box with advanced features Airtel Digital TV launched what it called India’s first hybrid set-top-box with built-in Android and a host of advanced gaming and Internet functions at a price of Rs 4999.Customers can also get one year of free subscription by paying Rs 3,000 extra.It will be availab...