In Business Model, Internet Access, Mobile, News, Spectrum

As expected, Reliance Communications and Reliance Jio Infocomm will announce a finalized deal to share mobile spectrum supporting fourth generation networks (4G) over most of India.

The deal will allow Reliance Jio to provide better coverage, while reducing Reliance Communications debt burdens.

The deal enables Reliance Jio to offer 4G services over the 800 MHz band, representing 10 MHz of 4G spectrum, across 10 circles in Mumbai, UP-East, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Assam, Northeast, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir.

Converting its fragmented airwaves in the 800 MHz band into contiguous or ‘continuous’ frequencies will be crucial for Reliance Jio to deliver high-quality 4G LTE services on this frequency, many would note.

Reliance Jio also will use the 2300 MHz band for 4G. But that also means reception inside buildings will be an issue. Hence the value of 800-MHz 4G, which will improve indoor coverage.

You might say the Reliance Communications deal with Reliance Jio is among the simpler forms of spectrum sharing that now includes Wi-Fi, TV white spaces and eventually other forms of sharing, such as allowing new commercial users access to licenses held by government entities, without clearing the existing users.

Among the other general categories of spectrum sharing–aside from simple business deals–are methods based on geography, time and coordinated sharing.

Geographic sharing is going to develop as a method of allowing commercial users access to spectrum licensed to government entities, in areas where the government does not generally need to use the spectrum.

Another commonly considered type of sharing is temporal sharing. In this case, two or more users would share access to the same band of spectrum in the same geographic area, but at different times.

That will be the case for expected new arrangements in the U.S. market in bands such as 1695 MHz to 1710 MHz and 1755 MHz to 1850 MHz, as well as 3.5 GHz, for example.

Sharing based on time division can be either predictable or random.

Under a predictable temporal sharing regime, one user agrees not to transmit during particular pre-defined times to accommodate the other user’s services.

Unpredictable or random temporal sharing occurs when the secondary user may have to stop using the specific spectrum on short notice or without warning.

Coordinated sharing involves multiple users accessing the same band of spectrum in the same geographic area at the same time. Wi-Fi has been the best example.

The two potential mechanisms for coordination are databases and cognitive radios. TV white spaces is an example of a service based on use of databases to control interference.

Cognitive radio networks or devices automatically detect devices in its vicinity and coordinate usage in response.

Uncoordinated rule-based sharing generally is the way unlicensed spectrum is used.

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