Reliance Jio may delay 4G launch until December

telecomasia.net

India’s Reliance Jio Infocomm may delay its long-anticipated 4G launch until December, which could make it difficult for the company to poach high-value subscribers from rivals.

The Economic Times cites two different brokerages - Bank of America-Merrill Lynch and IIFL Institutional Equities – as stating that there is a good chance Reliance Jio will put off launching until December.

Bank of America-Merrill Lynch has told clients that a consistent view from industry participants is that Reliance Jio will delay its launch until the end of the year to ensure it can create a strong first impression in terms of network quality and the customer experience.

But the brokerage also believes this could make it difficult for Reliance Jio to gain traction because high-end customers would have settled with one of the incumbent operators by this time, and these types of customers can be difficult to poach.

But on the other hand, the brokers noted that if Reliance Jio plans to conduct a staggered launch starting in June, the company would face a handset disadvantage as less than 15% of the handsets currently sold in India support both the 850-MHz band and VoLTE.

An early launch would therefore limit the mass-market appeal of the operator, which would make for a poor first impression. A phased launch would also give rivals more time to defend their turf.

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