Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJI), a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), has applied for a unified licence (UL) that will allow it to offer voice telephony.
Currently, the company can offer only high-speed data services as it has an Internet Service Provider's (ISP) licence even though it holds spectrum for 4G services. This means that its subscribers would be required to carry two handsets — one for accessing the Internet and another for making phone calls.
The company will have to pay an additional fee of Rs 1,658 crore to the department of telecommunications to offer voice services.
DoT secretary MF Farooqui on Friday confirmed that the company has applied for the UL.
RJI is expected to launch its services in the next six months. It is expected to slash prices for high-speed broadband services.
Sources said that its 4G services will be available in some cities by the end of this financial year that will enable a download speed of up to 100 Mbps. Over the next 12 months, the service will be rolled out in many cities throughout the country.
Currently, Bharti Airtel offers 4G services in Bengaluru, Kolkata, Chandigarh and Pune.
Experts say that RJI has advantage over its competitors as it has 20 MHz of spectrum for 4G services. There is no legacy attached with it. It recently signed a deal with RCom for sharing the latter's infrastructure. The company is also in talks with device manufacturers for providing tablets and data cards at reasonable rates.