How Reliance Jio / Airtel will Delpoy 4G Network Using FDD-LTE(1800MHz) & TD-LTE(2300MHz) ?

Airtel Reliance Jio 4G LTEReliance Jio Infocomm’s primary focus is 4G LTE and FTTH services. Pre auction, the biggest concern was Reliance Jio’s foray into telecoms and especially 900 MHz spectrum and 2G voice market. Reliance Jio has spent Rs111bn acquiring 1800 MHz spectrum of an average 5.6 MHz pair band across 14 circles in contiguous block. This will enable it to provide FDD LTE services along with TDD in 2300 MHz, including voice to non-RJIL networks. Likewise, Airtel has already rolled out 4G LTE Services in the 2300MHz band with CSFB Technology.

Our discussions with various Network Engineers suggested Reliance Hio Infocomm would opt for Circuit Switched Fall Back technology to manage the transition from LTE data networks and fall back to 2G / 3G network and terminate calls in non-RJIL networks. However, there would be a visible (as much as 4-6 seconds) time lag as customers switch from voice to data and vice versa.

Reliance Jio Infocomm is likely to first set up 1800 MHz of FDD network, which has already evolved more than TDD in the ecosystem globally, in both the network equipment and handset markets. More important, the prices of most of these handsets are still priced at above US$400, whereas FDD-LTE handsets are available at a lower ~US$300 price (non-subsidized).

So what happens to Reliance Jio’s 2300Mhz Spectrum now ? Remember this is a 20 Years license and eventually, Reliance Jio and airtel will deploy a mixture of both FDD-LTE in 1800Mhz and TD-LTE in 2300MHz as explained by the Qualcomm Block Diagram below which provides incremental efficiency in the growing era of mobile data.

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