What is the difference between Reliance Jio and other 4G Networks?
To understand how Jio 4G differs from other 4G, we need to understand a little about these companies.
Other companies that are currently venturing into the 4G space in India like Airtel, Vodafone, Idea etc are incumbent network operators. That means they already have 2G/3G networks in place and have been major telecom players in the market for quite some time. So for all of them 4G is a value addition to their existing telco networks and telco infra. They already have had the fibers, last mile connectivity and towers laid out. They only needed to upgrade their existing infra to support 4G eNodeBs and core network.
On the other hand Reliance Jio, is a greenfield player. It doesn’t have any existing network infra to build its network upon, so it has to do everything from the ground up like setting up the fiber cables, the towers, the backend core network, etc. And since it has only decided to venture in 4G+ telecom technologies, it doesn’t have the burden to support aging technologies like 2G/3G. Of course, this means that unless they launch PAN INDIA, initially they might have to rely on some kind of agreement with other operator to provide roaming in the radio pockets.
So on first look it might look like the incumbent operator have an advantage over Reliance Jio due to their in place infra, but this is not true, as you’ll see. Now 4G, unlike aging 2G/3G technologies, is a IP only network, that means from your voice to video to data to everything else goes over IP. And on top of that this network type has set high data speeds requirement to be called as 4G. So you can just imagine how much bandwidth is actually needed to sustain a 4G network at full pace. Now incumbent players already have their fibers in place, true, but those fibers were laid out with keeping the 3G data requirements in mind which is like 10 - 20x slower than that of 4G data requirement. And on top of data, now 4G networks need to support Voice over IP for HD Voice too. This is where Reliance Jio has the major advantage, since its starting telecom technology is 4G, it exactly knows how much bandwidth it should aim for its fiber backbone in order to support at least 1–2 future telecom network generations. That has lead to deployment of fibers with massive bandwidth (I am talking about 10 - 20x massive). Incumbent operators use cables with 12–24 fibers where as Jio is using cables with 288 fibers (96 fibers at few places with low requirement).
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