RCom, Reliance Jio mull new sharing deal

Dylan Bushell-Embling
12 Aug 2013

Pan-Indian 4G hopeful Reliance Jio Infocomm may be close to signing yet another infrastructure sharing agreement with Reliance Communications (RCom).

Reliance Jio and RCom will likely sign an intra-city fiber sharing agreement in the next one or two months, a source told India's Economic Times.

The proposed deal would allow Reliance Jio to use RCom's fiber infrastructure within cities. Reliance Jio would likely pay between 30 billion and 35 billion rupees ($494.4 million - $576.8 million) for the privilege, the source said.

This would help Reliance Jio more easily roll out services, and also allow RCom to pay off some of its 384 billion rupee debt burden.

As part of its debt reduction efforts, RCom also plans to sell off a 74% stake in DTH TV operation Reliance Digital TV to another company for around 25 billion rupees, and its 80% stake in Reliance Globalcom to Dubai-based Samena Capital Investments, the source added.

This marks the third infrastructure sharing agreement between Reliance Jio and RCom, following a 12 billion rupee fiber backbone sharing deal signed in April and a 120 billion rupee tower share deal reached in June.

Reliance Jio and RCom are controlled by brothers Mukesh and Anil Ambani respectively. The once estranged brothers had been operating under a non-compete pact until 2010, after which Reliance Jio acquired Infotel Broadband and its nationwide LTE spectrum for $1.03 billion.

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