Airtel Optimizing 4G VoLTE Network, lags Jio in Coverage

We went through the Bharti Airtel’s Annual Report and here are the key takeaways. Bharti Telecom’s Airtel managed to increase wireless capacity by 35% with tower count increase of just 11%, suggesting that the rest came from re-farming 2G spectrum to 4G and from other capacity augmentation techniques such as beam-splitting. Airtel is still expanding the tower count, whereas Jio, which has relatively 30% more towers, is closer to the maximum feasible count indicating 4G coverage, subscribers and revenue market share of Jio being ahead of Airtel.

Bharti ran a special programme with its network vendors, to increase spectral efficiency by up to 5% in all circles. It deployed 280 Massive MIMO sites in FY21, well below Vi’s 1,700. It appears that Airtel is less reliant on massive MIMO as a capacity

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How is Reliance Jio Powering Last Mile 4G LTE Broadband ?

exclusive1Last mile connectivity is the biggest challenge for 4G since the tower density needs to be much better than 2G/3G due to signal strength concerns. This is complicated the number of agencies (municipalities, housing societies, offices, etc) Jio has to seek approval from for laying infrastructure with minimum disturbance to existing ecosystem and managing the rhetoric around radiations.

As we write this, large parts of Mumbai have seen the laying of optical fibre cables by Jio. Further, in congested areas where telecom towers are difficult to put up, Jio has put up mini-towers (see below). Since they can be put up on existing street-light poles, traffic junctions, footpaths, etc the entry-barriers are low, both in terms of

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BSNL Tower De-merger to Help 4G-LTE Operators

Telecom Towere Business IndiaThe Government is planning to hive off BSNL’s tower business into a separate subsidiary with estimated valuations of cUSD3.8bn. BSNL has a total of c60,000 towers with a good mix of towers in rural and urban markets. Furthermore our industry analysis suggests these towers have good fibre connectivity as well. With all telcos focussing on enhancing data coverage, BSNL’s focus on the tower business via a separate subsidiary will increase tower supply to the sector and key beneficiaries in our view will be 4G entrants.

One of the challenges for 4G entrants has been network coverage given their dependence on the 2.3 GHz spectrum. We highlight coverage issues can be resolved in two ways: (a) adding sub1 GHz spectrum and (b) adding more towers.

With not much clarity on possible auctions of spectrum

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How Reliance Jio Built the 2nd Largest Telecom Network ?

Reliance Jio NetworkReliance Jio Infocomm’s installation of ~70,000 LTE sites for the launch network is mostly completed. With the recently-acquired spectrum, the company has a decent mix of 1800/800 MHz spectrum for voice coverage (with 2300MHz for data capacity). In addition to 2300MHz and 1800MHz, RJio acquired 800MHz spectrum in nine circles in the Mar-15 auctions, most of which can be used for LTE (CA). Thus, including RJio’s last year’s bidding, RJio now has either 1800MHz or 800MHz spectrum in 20 circles, which account for 92% of industry revenues

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What Business is Nokia Focused after SmartPhone Spinoff ?

New Nokia Business UnitsPost the sale of Nokia’s Devices(Mobile & SmartPhone) business to Microsoft, Finnish-based Nokia is targeting network infrastructure (Networks), location / maps (HERE) and intellectual property monetisation / advanced technology development (Technologies).

Going forward the Networks business will represent c.85%-90% of sales and comprise two reporting segments – Mobile Broadband (mobile operator radio and core network hardware / software) and Global Services (network implementation, managed services, customer

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4G VoLTE Networks to be Powered by IMS Core

If you have been following the Telecommunications industry for a decade or more you will likely remembers IMS (IP multimedia system) as the technology architecture developed by the leading circuit switch voice vendors (i.e., Lucent and Nortel) in the late 1990s as the technology that would save their declining voice businesses but they were far ahead of time.

This vision eventually came to fruition, but in a much smaller way in the long-distance network (4ESS) which was rebuilt using soft switches and media gateways to enable the use of

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How VoLTE Can Enhance Voice Quality / Data & Transition from 2G/ 3G

4G LTE Voice Data Capacity The greatest benefit of pushing voice over LTE [VoLTE] is the opportunity to increase capacity for faster 4G mobile data services by redeploying spectrum currently used for older 2G and 3G services. For example, we have learned that Voice over LTE or VoLTE is roughly 2-3 times more efficient than 3G voice services and 4-6 times more efficient than 2G voice services. VoLTE is very sensitive to cell hand-off for customers on the go. As such, carriers need to optimize and tighten their grid of cell sites to ensure a high quality voice experience, as a dropped data connection can lead to a dropped call. With data, connections can drop and become quickly reestablished, which is unlikely to be detected by the customer given the likelihood for

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What are Essential 4G-LTE Patents and FRAND Practices ?

Essential LTE PatentsFrom a technical standpoint, an essential LTE patent is a patent that relates directly to technology that is strictly required to meet the technical specifications of the LTE standards. This can differ from commercial standpoint of what an essential LTE patent is, as many a times technologies and procedures that are not strictly defined in the LTE standards and specifications are unavoidable in the development and manufacture of an LTE-related product. For example, components of 2G/3G communications technology may not be defined in 4G LTE standards but from a practical standpoint would be required in next-generation devices since much of the new

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SK Telecom Battles KT on 4G-LTE Services for “The Best” in the World

SK Telecom Battles for KT on 4G-LTE Services SK Telecom The most Advanced LTE Broadband Service Provider in the World Spoke to us and here is an excerpt from the interaction directly with the management of the SK Telecom.

What are your capex spending plans for Broadband LTE?
We have already been investing in the 1.8GHz bandwidth since 2012. So we will try to meet our annual capex guidance announced at the beginning of the year. However, since we have acquired this very competitive bandwidth, there may be
some need to pre-emptively invest in this bandwidth.

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Who will Benefit from the Largest Global 4G / LTE Deployment in China?

China Mobile Market - Network GearUnlike in India where Reforms are driven solely by Agenda Driven Politics with Motive of Heavy Corruption, China has created a niche market for itself. They have created a eco-system of Network Gear Manufacturers which include top brand names such as ZTE, Huawei and China Communication Services. Over the next 12 months the Big 3 Operators China Mobile, Unicom and Telcom will start 4G/LTE capex cycle which would negatively impact their near-term earnings and could drive vendors’ re-rating on faster earnings growth. Long term, LTE could save data costs of Chinese telcos and drive data usage.

Chinese telcos will increase by 7% in 2013 and 4% in 2014, driven by LTE and transmission network capex. We expect total LTE capex to almost double in 2014 and

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