Reliance has plans to launch a 4G tablet in India this year. Close to fifteen Taiwanese manufacturers are ready to submit prototypes for the tablet which will be sold at a retail price of Rs. 8000. This is a little jumping the gun kind of news and is only expected from Reliance Industries. Many companies are still struggling to get started on the 3G services and Reliance is talking 4G. Reliance has money and muscle to lay out their network well in time and to procure as many tablets as it can to break-even.
Voice by now is a commodity but, it still is a much needed commodity. A person buying a 4G tablet would want the calling and video conferencing capabilities on it. There are hardly any players on the 4G scene. Companies which might not have a problem are — Bharti and Aircel – which have licenses for 2G and 3G in select areas. Augere, Tikona and Qualcomm are other players in the 4G arena. Reliance along with BSNL/MTNL is the only company which has 4G spectrum in all 22 circles. Reliance along with Augere, Tikona and Qualcomm are the new players who don’t have 2G or 3G spectrum.
Tablets is one thing and launching a phone is another thing. Reliance do not have license to operate in the 2G and 3G calls where most of the voice calls are based. 4G is a network which facilitates faster download speeds for internet and it facilitates voice calls too. That is where the whole thing gets messy, at least to me. If Reliance can launch a 4G tablet it can as well launch a 4G phone. It can collaborate with HTC to get HTC Thunderbolt to India. That’s a possibility. To get to that point, several questions have to be answered.
Can Reliance Industries offer voice calls over 4G network? If Reliance is disallowed for voice calls, would there be demand for its 4G tablets?