During testing, no fees will be charged
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has allocated 10,000 numbers to Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJI), the telecom arm of Reliance Industries, for testing 4G services in Delhi, Mumbai and Jamnagar. RJI has been given 4,000 numbers each for Mumbai and Delhi and 2,000 numbers for testing mobile services in Jamnagar, official sources said.
DoT has told RJI that during the testing period it would not charge any fee either from consumers or other telecom operators for providing telecom services through resources that had been allocated to it for this purpose only.
No comments were available from RJI on the matter.
Reliance Jio Infocomm, formerly Infotel Broadband Services Ltd., had requested the DoT in October, 2012, to allocate phone numbers and other permissions required for providing voice calls facility on its 4G services network.
The company, in its communication to the department, has said that it developed a technology, VoLTE, in preparation of a unified licensing regime recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) under which consumers will be able to get voice, messaging and video using a single device.
Sharing details of its plan, RJI had said that the VoLTE technology would enable it to work seamlessly with the existing 2G, 3G, NLD and ILD networks. The VoLTE technology of the company is expected to provide an alternative to applications now used for making calls and video chat using internet.
In February, 2013, the inter-ministerial body Telecom Commission approved a provision that will enable companies such as Reliance Jio to provide full-fledged mobile services by paying additional amount of Rs.1,658 crore.
The company has also entered into an agreement with Reliance Communications for “optimal utilisation of existing and future infrastructure of both companies on a reciprocal basis, including inter alia, inter-city fibre, towers and related assets.”
Market analysts have said that the deal between the two companies could be extended to spectrum sharing once new licence norms are finalised.