Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Reliance Infotel - My Thoughts + All Updates #2

Continuing from my earlier post about Reliance Industries' Infotel Broadband...

October 2012
RIL's Infotel will have disruptive strategy - low cost tablets, country wide network and cheaper tariff plans will shake current mobile broadband (read 3G and EVDO) players. via Waiting in the wings

BSNL feels the heat from upcoming Infotel's 4G launch, as BSNL is revamping strategy to focus on broadband penetration in tier II and III towns. via TelecomLead

AT&T may take 26% stakes at Infotel Broadband, reported by Voice&Data. The buy out may be priced between 15,000-20,000 crore rupees, which will be used for Infotel's greenfield operations. The deal will also help RIL to get expert experience from AT&T.

Amid huge speculation that Infotel may bid in upcoming 2G auction, it is confirmed that RIL is not participating the auction. But Videocon applied for both GSM and CDMA spectrum and there is strong view that RIL may buy Videocon's stakes after the auction ends, just like RIL bought Infotel after BWA auction. More read on GoBroadband.

RIL is looking for offering voice services over its LTE network - VoLTE. RIL requested to get mobile numbers to run trials for it. via Economics Times.

Reliance Infotel 4G LTE in Mumbai / Navi Mumbai / Thane / Panvel – Pilot Tests at 40 Locations - GoBroadband

Reliance Infotel 4G Voice over LTE – Legality, Ubiquitous Coverage will Require 3x Times Investment of 2G Voice Business via GoBroadband

4G LTE in 1800MHz band – Eco-system Ready and Better than 2300MHz

The HinduBusinessLine reports that Reliance Infotel has indigenously developed an application that will offer voice, video and data services on the same platform with the help of in-house team of young and bright people of R&D division and testing HD voice over LTE initially at Mumbai, Delhi and Jamnagar.

Telecomtalk explains the challenges to Reliance Infotel to offer voice services.

November 2012 onwards

Reliance Industries - Bracing for the Broadband Hungama via VoiceNData - Details of Infotel's vendors.
Arvind Rao, former MD & CEO of VAS-firm OnMobile joined RIL Infotel. via LightReading
4G remains a pipedream in India as LTE faces major hurdles - ET

Telecom sector looking to 4G upgradation: Semiconductor companies come up with innovative, low-cost technology via ET

Sumit Chowdhury joins to Infotel as chief information officer (CIO), responsible for all systems, technology and the product platform. He moved to Reliance from IBM, where he was vice-president and partner. Chowdhury had earlier worked as CIO with Reliance Communications. via Business-Standard

On November 30 Telecomtalk first reports that Infotel will use Russian software maker SPIRIT DSP's VVoIP engine to offer voice and video calls over 4G. Soon GoBroadband covered that. Interestingly the offical press release comes on December 18th. Check out Medianama's cover up.

Reliance Infotel will offer 4G via WiFi. For that they will offer MiFi devices. It means you can enjoy 4G on any WiFi enabled devices like smartphones, laptop or tablets. No need for handset upgrade. reports ET.

ET also reports that Tikona may offer 4G data at 2-5 paisa per MB, which translates to Rs 20/GB. Earlier Infotel said the data tariff can be Rs10/GB. Tikona may roll out 4G in mid 2013. There is no definite date for Aircel 4G too.

The report also tells that 3G may not be cheaper than 4G, and will be promoted as premier service on handsets. But people don't care about technology, nor 3G or 4G has that content. So basically 3G or 4G both are for internet access. With cheaper 4G tariff and 4G on your old handset via WiFi means 3G is to be cheap or be killed.

Telecomtalk's December update on 4G.

Telecomtalk reports that Reliance Digital, the retail electronics chain for RIL can be used as Infotel 4G's selling points. R-Digital is on massive expansion mode, targets to open total 500 outlets in next 1 year.

LiveMint reports Jagdish Kumar, president of media and entertainment at Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), has quit after spending a year and a half at the company. He will be joining multi-system operator Hathway Cable and Datacom Ltd as chief executive. What does it mean? This is an out call after so many new people hired at Infotel. May be RIL has tied up with Hathway and the movement is part of plan.

Google India MD is very much hopeful on 4G, says internet users will double once 4G is rolled out.

Similar to RIL's run for offering voice on LTE via VVoIP, Airtel asked for permission to test voice on its LTE network. Airtel may use simple fall back mechanism to bring voice on LTE. The ET report also mentions that the voice & data trials would involve RIL employees, consultants and technology partners. This is probably the main reason why any information regarding RIL's 4G testing are not coming out.

As RIL earlier told that they are looking for 4G Hubs across the country, Chennai may be RIL's another 4G Hub apart from Jamnagar, Mumbai and Pune. FinEx reports that RIL is buying Hotel Leelaventure’s business park in Chennai to house its offices for its much-awaited 4G operations.

2013

Reliance completes 4G testing in Jamnagar - DNA
4G/LTE revenues in India to reach $11.88 billion in 2017 - TelecomLead
Will Mukesh Ambani disrupt the Indian telecommunications market again? asks Forbes India
Videocon wants to roll out 4G/LTE-FDD by July on 1800MHz - TelegraphIndia
AT&T thinks LTE can be alternative to DSL in rural America. "When you begin to think about rural America and tier two towns ... LTE can become a fixed line replacement," AT&T's CEO Randall Stephenson.

ET reports that Reliance Industries a generation behind on its 4G; yet to finalise action plan.
It seems that this news was to confuse competitors! Because soon after LightReadingIndia  reports RIL Infotel is geared up for  4G launch in 40 cities in 2013.

EconomicsTimes reports several times that RIL is to lease towers from Reliance Communications's tower arm - Reliance Infratel [link 2 ]. Later ET reports that RIL may take stakes in R-Infra.

CDMA - future in India [ voicendata ]

Telco lobbying in high gear: fear of Reliance is the key - firstpost. TheHindu reports GSM players oppose RIL Infotel to get nod for voice services.
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