Reliance Jio to share RCom towers

Dylan Bushell-Embling
10 Jun 2013
00:00

India's Reliance Jio Infocomm, the operator planning to launch an LTE network within a year, has signed a $2.1 billion deal to share Reliance Communications' (RCom) telecom towers.

Under the deal, Reliance Jio will use up to 45,000 RCom towers nationwide for its 4G network.

The agreement also includes a framework for the two operators to jointly build and operate telecom towers on the future.

The announcement does not go into details about the financial terms, except to say that the contract has an aggregate value of over 120 billion rupees ($2.1 billion) over its lifetime.

Reliance Jio and RCom in April reached a 12 billion rupee fiber backbone sharing deal under similar terms. The two companies had reportedly been negotiating the tower sharing agreement since January.

Reliance Jio is owned by Reliance Industries, which is controlled by Indian tycoon Mukesh Ambani. Reliance Communications is controlled by his brother Anil.

The two brothers had for a long time been estranged, after they split up their father's Reliance business empire in 2002 and entered a pact not to compete in each others' industries.

But this pact expired in 2010, at which Mukesh Ambani commenced his re-entry into the telecom sector with the $1.03 billion acquisition of Infotel Broadband and its pan-India LTE spectrum. Since then, Reliance Jio and RCom have entered what they term a “comprehensive framework of business co-operation.”

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