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Reliance Jio plans to roll out 4G services by Dec; Airtel says it will launch before them

It’s a race to the finish.

Telecom giants Reliance
Jio and Airtel are currently looking to roll out 4G services across the country
before the end of this year. In such a situation, getting the first mover
advantage would be highly beneficial.

It’s a race to the finish.

Telecom giants Reliance
Jio and Airtel are currently looking to roll out 4G services across the country
before the end of this year. In such a situation, getting the first mover
advantage would be highly beneficial.

Both companies are leaving no stones unturned to ensure
their own respective wins. On the one hand Reliance Jio has set December, 2015
as the deadline for the roll out of their 4G services pan-India, leveraging
their vast network of Reliance Digital outlets and on the other hand Airtel has
declared that they will launch 4G services across 44 cities before December,
reports the
Times
of India.

Mukesh Ambani
led Reliance Jio has made a strategic decision of leveraging 1298+ Reliance
Digital outlets across India to distribute their new 4G services, reports the
Times of India. Both Reliance Digital Express and Reliance Mini Express Stores
would be extensively used to bundle in 4G services, at a discounted rate.

According to the
report, the telecom giant is also in talks with smartphone brands like Apple,
Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei, among others, to embed Reliance Jio 4G services with
their new handsets to make it easier for the customers.

RIL chief
financial officer V. Srikanth, was quoted in the report as saying, “We will
start extensive beta testing of our telecom infrastructure, including network
across the country in the ensuing weeks to commence operations in December.” He
added, “We will have a range of smartphones from entry level to premium segment
in our digital stores across the country.”

With close to
400-500 new Reliance Digital stores added every year, the decision to leverage
their outlets can be a major factor in determining the market leader. Insider
reports also claim that around 1000 new ‘Jio Centers’ would be launched, along
with 5,00,000 ‘Connectivity Kiosks’ across shopping malls and main markets of
every city. Reliance could also launch their own flagship brand handset called ‘Reconnect’,
which will be sold via Reliance Outlets. 4G services from Jio would be embedded
by default in these branded handsets.

As per Reliance
Jio’s strategy and planning head Anshuman Thakkur, the company has tied up with
various firms to use 75,000 towers, out of which they own 30,000. By December
end, this number would be doubled. Currently, they are reportedly testing for
their 4G services roll out by the end of the year.

According to media
reports
, Airtel has also claimed that they will launch 4G services before
Reliance Jio. As per a senior Airtel executive, they will launch 4G services
across 44 cities, meanwhile upgrade in 20 cities where they have already
launched 4G, albeit in a testing phase.

They have
already started a nation-wide campaign to migrate their 3G users into 4G, and
even offering free home delivery of the new SIM at no extra charge.

With 19.5
million 3G users, Airtel is India’s biggest provider of mobile Internet (which
also includes data card and WiFi based distribution). The company has already slashed
their 4G internet rates, making it cheaper than 3G, which could trigger a price
war.

Airtel may also launch their own branded handsets costing around Rs 4000, which will have 4G embedded. Like its
rival, Airtel is also in talks with major smartphone makers to offer their 4G
services by default in new handsets.

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