MUMBAI: Touted as the most anticipated launch in the Indian telecommunications space, Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio is planning a soft launch on the late family patriarch - Dhirubhai Ambani’s birth anniversary i.e 28 December, 2015.
While Jio’s launch is being regarded as the game changer of the Digital India vision, the task cut out for the newest telecom company in the fray is not as simple as rival Bharti Airtel, which is also gearing up to launch its 4G network.
During the company’s Annual General Meeting earlier this year, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani spoke about Jio’s commercial launch in December 2015. However, a source close to the development tells Indiantelevision.com that while the soft launch will happen in December this year, the commercial launch will only be somewhere around March 2016.
“Airtel has a full fledged 3G network across the country and hence if consumers are out of the 4G network area coverage, they can operate on 3G. However, Reliance Jio cannot follow this proposition due to unavailability of the 3G network. We are planning for a soft launch on a good day in December,” the source says.
The source also confirmed that Reliance Jio's commercial launch, which will facilitate consumers from across 5,000 cities and towns, might get delayed to March.
Recently, Reliance Jio Infocomm signed a deal with US-based test and measurement equipment provider Keysight Technologies to test its 4G network. Analysts peg that the testing deal may have cost Reliance Jio approximately Rs 100 crore.
Ambani plans to launch 4G services in over 5,000 cities and towns across India with an approximate investment of Rs 100,000 crore. Test runs have already begun in some parts of the country.