Explained: Why Reliance Jio wants 2G and 3G services to be shut down
Reliance Jio suggests a policy and glidepath to migrate customers to 4G and 5G, which will boost the development of 5G use cases. Vodafone-Idea (Vi) also supports the migration effort.
In India, 5G services have been available to consumers for over a year, with Reliance Jio and Airtel spearheading the initiative. While 5G adoption hasn’t really hit its peak, Reliance Jio believes that it is time 2G, 3G services should be shut down by the government, according to a report by The Economic Times. One other significant telecom company concurs with Reliance Jio on this point.
In reaction to the consultation paper on "Digital Transformation through 5G Ecosystem" issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Reliance Jio stated: "The government should come out with a policy and glidepath for completely shutting down the 2G and 3G networks so that unnecessary network costs can be avoided and all customers can be migrated to 4G and 5G services." This will also greatly accelerate the development of the 5G use case ecosystem.
Interestingly, Jio doesn’t have 2G services whereas both Airtel and Vodafone-Idea (Vi) do have. Vi also wants government to make efforts to ensure migration of 2G users to 5G.
According to the report, Vi said, "A substantial part of the citizens in the country are generally using older technology, i.e. 2G, and are not able to access the new generation technology, i.e. 4G and 5G despite availability of connectivity."
Vi cited the inability of customers to convert to smartphones due to their high cost as one of the causes. According to Vi, "such barriers would also impact the ecosystem for 5G use cases and further increase the digital divide. As such, they need a concerted effort and push from the government to get resolved."