The Value of Name-Dropping Reliance Jio

David Snow
David Snow

Summary Bullets:

  • Suddenly, ‘a very large unnamed Asian operator’ has started to be claimed in vendor discussions on product scalability.
  • Reliance Jio, the new Indian mobile broadband entrant, provides contracted vendors with one of the best available product and functionality references.

Current Analysis is well known for its ‘speeds and feeds’ vendor product comparisons. Though that’s far from all that we do, in developing and validating such comparisons, we engage in frequent discussions with vendors. One example is about product scalability. In these discussions, vendor responses to a question regarding whether product ‘x’ can scale to parameter ‘y’ often take on a mosaic of proof points, including references to data sheets, testing exercises (in-house, independent or carrier), named carrier contracts, etc.

Well, as of the beginning of this year, a new proof point variant with an air of oriental mystery started to arise: “Yes, and furthermore, we’ve contracted product ‘x’ to a very large unnamed Asian operator.

Now, normally, that sort of statement would not rank highly on our ‘believability index,’ but add the words “4G, greenfield, pan-Indian subcontinent, commercial service around the end of the year” and the barometer immediately starts to crank up.

Here’s why: it’s because we are talking about Reliance Jio.

Reliance Jio is a new Indian mobile broadband operator, the first to have gained a license to operate in all of the country’s 22 telecom circles, and “represents one of the largest greenfield digital initiatives anywhere in the world.” That’s because it is a ‘legacy-free’ network, aiming at rolling out the very latest in digital services, i.e., VoLTE, VoWiFi, HD voice and HD video calling, by using low-cost, high-functionality handsets for an initial subscriber base dimensioned at more than 100 million. Admittedly, these services are yet to be commercially launched and the initial December 2015 target date now looks to be slipping into Q1 2016, but either way, Reliance Jio involvement endows a product vendor with exceptionally strong product scaling (and functionality) credentials. While an ‘unnamed large operator’ reference doesn’t move the needle much, Reliance Jio does.

In the Current Analysis IP Services Infrastructure (IPSI) practice to date, Reliance Jio’s application server, IMS core and policy controller (PCRF) have all been ‘claimed’ in the course of vendor conversations. That leaves the session border controller (SBC), home subscriber server (HSS) and Diameter signaling controller (DSC) currently unattributed. So, are there any SBC, HSS or DSC vendors out there ready to claim a contract with this very large unnamed Asian operator? If so, your product’s performance could receive a substantial credibility boost.

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