Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd today said it is has emerged as the biggest holder of liberalized spectrum after acquiring radiowaves in 14 out of 22 service areas for around Rs 11,054 crore in the latest round of auction that ended on Thursday.
“With this acquisition, Reliance Jio will be the holder of the largest quantum of liberalized spectrum and with the longest residual spectrum life,” Reliance Industries Ltd chairman and managing director Mukesh D Ambani said in a statement.
A liberalized spectrum regime allows companies the flexibility to provide services of their choice – voice, data, and video – in the allotted bands.
The company also highlighted that it has acquired spectrum at lower price compared to high rates paid by leading telecom companies in the premium 900MHz band.
“RJIL has acquired the 1,800MHz spectrum at 31 percent premium to reserve price. Winning bidders of the 900MHz spectrum paid between 55 to 110 percent premium over the reserve price,” the statement said.
Vodafone put in bids worth Rs 11,261 crore to win 900MHz band in the three metros; Airtel won 900MHz for about Rs 8,624 and Idea Cellular for Rs 3,705 crore. Mobile signals transmitted in 900MHz band spectrum provide wider coverage than the signals in 1,800MHz band.
However, companies have started using 1,800MHz for high speed 4G data services. Earlier, the band was used for 2G technologies that were deployed predominantly for providing voice services.
RJio acquired a minimum of 5MHz spectrum in 1,800MHz band in each of the 14 circles, besides 440MHz of radiowaves held by it in the 2,300MHz. With fresh purchase, RJio now holds 597.6MHz of spectrum.
The company said it will use both these frequency bands for providing 4G services comprising both mobile Internet as well as voice calls.
“RJIL is deploying an enhanced packet core network to create futuristic high capacity infrastructure to handle huge demand for data and voice. In addition to high speed data, the 4G network will provide voice services from/to non-RJIL networks,” the statement said.
The company said it will deploy both prevalent technology for 4G services, FDD-LTE on 1,800MHz and TDD-LTE on 2,300MHz.
On 4G enabled devices, the company said there are several mobile phones available that have the capability to operate both TD-LTE and FD-LTE technologies in the 1,800MHz and 2,300MHz bands as well as conventional 2G/3G networks.
“Rapid strides in global LTE rollouts and introduction of several new chipsets is making LTE enabled smart mobile phones and devices more affordable.In any case, Wi-Fi enabled 2G/3G device can access RJIL’s services through an affordable pocket router,” it said.
In the latest round of auction ended February 13, RJio won spectrum in 1,800MHz band in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam, North East and Orissa.