Reliance Jio is looking to make a big splash in India with the deployment of the first all 4G LTE network. Earlier this year, the Indian telco announced it will debut its network in fiscal year 2016-2017, which starts April 1, but has so far been quiet about particulars of the rollout.
Speaking to a crowd at the Small Cell Americas conference, Reliance Jio Infocomm Senior VP of Wireless networks, Tareq Amin outlined Reliance Jio’s network plans, which include what he called the “largest small cell deployment…happening in the world.”
All of this comes with no legacy infrastructure in place. Amin says while this comes with its challenges, it is actually a blessing in that Jio can concentrate fully on LTE without having to worry about backward compatibility.
The small cell deployment is perhaps the most ambitious part of the plan. To meet the lofty targets, Jio created its own automated workflow that allows every employee to access small cell data from a tablet.
“From the beginning, we said okay, if we’re going to manage such a complex set of challenges in front of us, we have to really think about managing workflow automation completely different,” Amin explained. “We had to approach the problem from a different angle and not think as a telco operator so we decided to spend quite a bit of energy on ensuring that every employee that works for Jio will never submit a piece of paper at all to Jio or otherwise their payment will be rejected.”
The full automation suite is made up of three platforms, Jio coverage platform, which is an analytics-based automation platform for coverage management and work order management; Jio Now, a tablet-based automation platform for all small cell deployment process and SiteForge, the company’s workflow automation platform for real-time data and process management.
Amin says these platforms will save time and money on site audits and coverage plans.”Those of you who work for mobile operators will understand how many site audits per year you do…how much millions of dollars you do on auditing the sites every year because we cannot maintain the data correctly,” he told the crowd in Dallas, Tex. “We believe we have found a solution to address the issue of data integrity.”
But while Amin believes the pieces are in place to reach the company’s goals, he admits there are still challenges to overcome. Thus far, Reliance Jio is deploying 300 small cells per day. The company’s leadership want to see that number increase to 1,700 small cells in order to meet its long-term goals.
Amin says, while there are plenty of small cells in the company’s warehouses ready to be deployed, there are still issues such as power stability that are hindering the goals from being met.