Reliance readying for 4G launch in second half of 2012, focus on content

Since Reliance bought 95% stake in a BWA auction winner Infotel and announced Reliance Infotel, we have been hearing reports of the 4G roll-out from the company. While, we are yet to see concrete results, a Mint story points out that Reliance might launch first 4G devices as early as second half of this year.

According to the report, company is expected to launch 4G services with the release of a competitively priced tablet across 700 cities and some ultra-cheap data plans. As company does not have license of start telephony services; data cards, tablets and IPTV are some of the only options that can be used by company to roll-out 4G in the country. Although, we have heard reports that company might partner with some regional telco to bundle telephony also, but nothing official till now.

An RIL official familiar with the matter has told Mint – <cite=”″>“We are still in the process of finalizing our broadband plans and there may be some announcements around April. Our services will be location- and device-agnostic, and we will target both wired and wireless devices.”

Focus on Content:

RIL has already completed the field trials with equipment vendors and is in talks to bring content for the platform. Company has bought stake in online tutoring company Extramarks Education, while it is in talks with several broadcasters like UTV, ZEE and Warner Bros India for exclusive content.

One of the reasons for the poor faring of 3G in the country is the lack of content and RIL does not want to make that mistake with its 4G services.

Reliance, TD-LTE and Android:

Mint states that Reliance is using the TD-LTE standard for its 4G network, which is mainly used by China Mobile and in countries like Brazil, Japan and Poland; it is different from LTE being used for 4G in USA, Europe, Canada and Australia.

Using TD-LTE would mean that we would not be seeing the tablets or other devices that we often hear about launching in US or Europe, coming to India. There will be no LG Optimus Pad LTE, but on the other hand, being used by China Mobile (largest mobile telecommunications company in the world) means that TD-LTE will have a thriving device eco-system.

Coming to Android, Google OS based devices seems to be the sensible choice of Reliance. Other platforms are either too expensive or don’t have support for the technology (at least till now). So, I am pretty much sure the first tablet launch from Reliance Infotel will be Android based.

Further Reading: Mint

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