Reliance Jio to get unified license

Dylan Bushell-Embling
14 Oct 2013

The Indian government has approved plans to grant Reliance Jio Infocomm a unified access license, allowing it to offer voice as well as data services.

The Department of Telecom has signed a letter of intent to allocate the license, and asked Reliance Jio to submit an entry fee and bank guarantees totalling around 19.37 billion rupees ($317.5 million), the Hindureported.

Reliance Jio is India's only operator with a pan-India 4G license, which it indirectly acquired through the $8 billion BWA auction in 2010. But the license only currently covers internet services.

Reliance Jio's predecessor Reliance Infocomm has a history of providing CDMA services, but exited the market years ago as part of a non-competition agreement between owner Mukesh Ambani and his brother Anil, who owns Reliance Communications.

This pact expired in 2010, and the two Reliance companies have since entered multiple infrastructure sharing deals.

India introduced the unified license scheme in August. The DoT also recently issued a unified license to Idea Cellular, according to sources quoted in the Economic Times.

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