Reliance Industries gears to launch MiFi devices to fuel 4G usages in India

Reliance Industries (RIL) is all set to launch  ‘MiFi’devices that will allow devices on the go such as smart phone and tablet to access high speed fourth generation (4G) Internet offerings from mid-2013, according to a report published in Economic Times. RIL-owned Infotel Broadband had won the license to offer 4G services nationally in 2010.

The RIL is expected to debut its 4G services in Delhi and Mumbai in first phase and company officials and vendors confirmed that the task of laying fiber optic cable networks has begun in these cities, said the report.

With the launch of MiFi, which is a tiny, battery-operated device almost all smart phones, tablets and laptops, which are either WiFi enabled or can be linked wirelessly to the Internet on RIL’s platform.  The MiFi device can be connected to a mobile phone carrier and provide Internet access for up to 5 devices. The MiFi works at a distance up to 10 meter (30 ft) and will provide Internet or network access to any WiFi enabled peripheral device. The first MiFi device was introduced in the U.S. in May 2009.

The company has also tied-up with Ericsson and Samsung to build networks, with Microsoft for providing security solutions and with IBM for IT integration. Last month, RIL owned Infotel Broadband Services had hired Arvind Rao, former managing director and CEO of mobile value-added services firm OnMobile Global, to drive its proposed 4G  or long-term evolution (LTE) broadband services.

The companies plans to launch MiFi devices which will convert the 4G signal to a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot is a tactical move as on the go devices which support  4G in India are still not available.

Airtel, which had launched its 4 G service in April had offered multi-mode USB dongles. After rolling out 4G service in Kolkata, Airtel had extended it to other two cities including Bangalore and Pune.

The RIL’s 4G initiative is being headed by Manoj Modi and most of the team members  were part of its first telecom foray with punchline ‘Kar lo Duniya Mutthi mein’ nearly a decade ago. With the 4G launch  RIL would intend to fuel the usages of 4G  in the same way it did a decade ago when it rolled out its low-cost voice services ( Rs.501).

We started using 4G services from Airtel a while ago and the experience was frustrating. The infrastructure was lacking and as usual, the customer support was pathetic.

Even 3G services aren’t any good in most parts of the country. If you have tried 4G services, tell us know what you think.

Recommended read: Airtel 4G : Review [AVOID it, unless you want to experience early adopter curse]