Reliance Jio wants more and cheaper spectrum
Mar 30, 2022 by Toby Youell


Bands2.3 GHz (2021), 1800 MHz (2021), 800 MHz (2021)
Tags1800 MHz, 2.3 GHz, 800 MHz, India, operators, Reliance Jio

Since it entered the market in 2016, Reliance Jio has transformed India’s mobile industry. It adopted a loss-leading strategy, offering mobile broadband services at almost-free prices. One reason it can offer such cheap services is that its all-IP LTE-only network is more spectrally efficient than its rivals that support legacy services, and because all sites use the same three bands. It has rapidly grown to become the biggest operator in India. Its rivals have struggled to compete, and many have exited the market.

In a new operator profile, we set out what spectrum it uses, how it obtained it, and what its views are for the future. Much of its spectrum was acquired in last year’s multiband auction, but the operator has lobbied for the government to make available much more spectrum going forwards. Some of those bands, specifically the 526 – 698 MHz, 3300 – 3670 MHz, and 24.25 – 28.5 GHz bands, will be on sale this year. The operator asked the regulator to refrain from using the auction to maximise revenue.

Reliance Jio had a large impact on the one of the world’s most populous mobile market, but only time will tell if it has an equally large impact on Indian spectrum policy.

The new profile is available to Spectrum Research Service subscribers here.