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Update: Reliance Jio begins carrier aggregation trials across all bands
[Image: screenshot_telecom_economictimes_indiatimes_com.png]

NEW DELHI: Mukesh Ambani- led Reliance Jio has begun carrier aggregation trials across all bands to virtually create larger airwave blocks, thereby offering faster and more stable 4G services for users.

"Trials started for Carrier Aggregation in all RJIL frequency bands," Reliance Industries Limited said in an investor presentation.

Carrier aggregation technology enables enhanced spectrum efficiency by combining capacities across multiple LTE carriers--within same or different spectrum bands--to deliver a superior user experience and ultra-fast mobile data speeds. It also enables better spectrum utilisation and efficiency.

Bharti Airtel already deployed LTE-Advanced technology, which is carrier aggregation across TD LTE and LTE FDD in Kerala using Nokia telecom gear. India's leading telco by subscribers is looking to deploy the technology in other circles as well.

LTE-A promises to deliver two to three times faster speeds than today's 4G LTE, using a process that allows operators to pool spectrum across inter and intra bands, thus providing better consumer experience to the users whose device possess those capabilities.

ET earlier reported that Jio was also looking at deploying LTE-U technology, another form of carrier aggregation. Conceptualized by Qualcomm, LTE-U is a system of wireless communication designed to use unlicensed spectrum - which is open to everybody - along with licensed LTE spectrum to ease the burden on big mobile carriers' networks.

Analysts say that LTE-A type of CA will dominate in India due to the inherent spectrum holdings. Currently, Indian telcos have holdings across either 1800 MHz (5MHz) and 2300 MHz (20 MHz) or 800 MHz (5MHz) and 2300 MHz (20 MHz). These two are best suitable cases for CA.

RIL, in its investor presentation, also said that its network is live in 18000 cities and more than 2 lakh villages in 2300 and 1800 MHz bands, even as it finalizes the deployment and optimization of 800 MHz band across 18 circles, which is expected to be completed in 6-8 weeks.

Jio is sharing of spectrum in 800MHz band with Anil Ambani-led RCom across 21 circles.

"Jio has already achieved 100% core network availability," the presentation said, adding that the network is capable of seamless inter-band handovers with call or data session contiguity.

Jio is widely expected to launch commercial operations in August on the Independence Day. However, brokerage CLSA, in a recent note, said that it expects the commercial launch in October this year.

"Several indicators suggest a strong possibility of commercial launch of Jio's services within the next three months ahead of festive season in October," it said in a note.

Under the test launch, Reliance Jio is currently serving 1.5 million subscribers, which include customers of its Lyf smartphones, employees and business partners including retailers.

Jio has already activated sales and distribution channels to support the upcoming commericial launch. Apart from 1 lakh strong device channel, Jio has signed up over 5 lakh connectivity sales channels for SIM and recharge sale.

Airtel Digital HD Recorder / Kerala Vision Digital TV
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