Reliance Jio acquires spectrum in 22 circles, increases spectrum footprint to 1717MHz
With this acquisition, the company’s total owned spectrum footprint has increased by 55%, to 1,717 MHz both uplink and downlink.
Reliance Jio on Tuesday announced that it had acquired the right to use spectrum in all 22 circles across India in the recently concluded spectrum auctions conducted by the Department of Telecommunications, Government of India.
Reliance Jio now owns a total of 133.75MHz of the 800MHz band spectrum, 74.60MHz of the 1800MHz band spectrum and 280.00 of the 2300MHz band spectrum across the 22 telecom circles in the country. With this acquisition, the company's total owned spectrum footprint has increased by 55%, to 1,717 MHz both uplink and downlink.
The company today announced that it has the highest amount of sub-GHz spectrum with 2X10 MHz contiguous spectrum in most circles. It also has at least 2X10 MHz in the 1800 MHz band and 40 MHz in the 2300 MHz band in each of the 22 circles.
Reliance Jio also said that it has achieved complete spectrum derisking with the average life of the owned spectrum being 15.5 years. The company said that it has acquired the spectrum in the most cost-efficient manner with an effective cost of ₹60.8 crore per MHz. The total payment for the 800MHz band spectrum stands at ₹34,491 crore, while the total payment for the 1800MHz band spectrum stands at ₹12,461 crore. Similarly, the total payment for the 2300MHz band spectrum stands at ₹10,170 crore. The total cost of the spectrum stands at ₹57,123 crore, of which ₹19,939 is the upfront payment and ₹37,184 is the deferred payment, which the company said has to be made over a period of 18 years with interest computed at 7.3% per annum.
What makes this spectrum acquisition much more significant to the company is the fact that the acquired spectrum can be utilised for the transition to 5G services at the appropriate time the company has developed its own 5G stack.
“Jio has revolutionised the digital landscape of India with the country becoming the fastest adopter of Digital Life. We want to ensure that we keep on enhancing experiences, not only for our existing customers but also for the next 300 million users that will move to digital services. With our increased spectrum footprint, we are ready to further expand the digital footprint in India as well as get ourselves ready for the imminent 5G rollout,” RIL Chairman Mukesh D Ambani said on the occasion.
Notably, the development comes just months after the company announced that it was combining forces with chipset maker Qualcomm and its wholly-owned subsidiary Radisys Corporation to develop 5G architecture in India. While making the announcement, the company had announced that it planned to develop a virtualized RAN (Radio Access Network) with the aim of catalysing the development and roll-out of 5G network infrastructure and services in the country.