The spectrum sale is over. After the auction which lasted for almost 3 weeks and was conducted in 115 rounds, the government generated a record amount of Rs. 1.1 lakh crores. The major telecom companies like BhartiAirtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular fought fiercely along with the new entrant, Reliance Jio Infocomm,which had indicatedfrom the beginning that it will be a toughcompetitor. The acquired spectrums will last for 2 decades.
Due to few petitions regarding the spectrum sale filed in the Supreme Court, the apex court has restricted the government from publicly announcing the winners and details regarding amount spent and circles bought. After hearing the matters today, the government will be directed to reveal the figures.
In February, last year, a similar sale had happened through which the government earned around Rs. 61,000 crores. The telecom companies fought fiercely to retain the significant 900 MHz spectrum. The companies feel that the high bids will affect their profit margins and compel them to raise their rates for voice and data services.
Reliance Jio’s preparations for 4G
The telecom arm of Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries is just a step away from the much awaited roll out of 4G services. In the beginning of March, this year, the company started providing beta version for the 4G services. This means that the company has given the ready services to a selected group for testing purpose.
In the previous month, the services were given for testing, being in an unpolished stage. Reliance Jio finished the TSTP (Test Schedule and Test Procedure) for its 4G services. This was done covering 20 regions and a speed of 29 Mbps to 34 Mbps was provided.
The current tests will extend for a period of 1 month and 10 days. The services will be tested by employees and vendors. If the results are positive, then Reliance Jio will check for certain cities where the services will be officially launched. As per plans, the launch is scheduled between July and September.
Apart from the voice and data services, many other applications are being tested. One of these is the Jio Drive which will let the consumers make video calls. Some other apps are magazine store, entertainment store, movie store, etc. which will let the user read magazines, watch movies or listen to music in one click.
With an investment of Rs. 70,000 crores, Reliance Jio aims to cover 5,000 towns and cities and around 215,000 villages across India. It is targeting more than 90% of the urban areas.It will also set up 1 lakh base stations by the end of this year to offer pan India 4G coverage.
To attract more customers, the company will focus on enhanced services. It has planned to launch a consumer portal where users may give their details and choose the most suitable tariff plan for themselves from the range of plans offered. The company is also planning to provide 4G SIM cards at locations of the customers.