Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio Infocomm on Thursday purchased a clutch of wireless assets from Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications (RCom) including wireless spectrum, tower, fibre and media convergence nodes (MCNs). Most notably, the agreement includes the sale of 43,000 towers to Reliance Jio. The deal places company in a favourable position as RCom’s assets are valuable and will help the former to expand its market. While Jio has been using the 800 MHz spectrum as well as the optic fibre as per an arrangement with RCom, the spectrum in the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands will be a bonus. The deal packs in 122.4 MHz of 4G Spectrum in the 800/900/1800/2100 MHz bands, over 43,000 towers, 1,78,000 kilometres of fiber and 248 media convergence nodes. COAI director general Rajan S Mathews yesterday said that the deal is clearly in line with the consolidation scenario in the telecom industry. “Emerging landscape of three dominant players in the telecom industry will be the new landscape,” he said. Rajan S Mathews estimated that Rs 25,000 crore would be a fair amount for the deal. However, the deal is most likely to further intensify the battle between Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel.
Till now the fight between the two major telcos of the country was restricted to mobile telephony sector which now will be easily dragged to fibre to home space (FTTH) business as well. Reliance Jio is planning to enter the broadband and internet protocol TV sector this year, as per reports. Bharti has a presence across 95 cities at present and the fibre is spread over 250,000 km across the country and internationally. After this deal, RCom has added about 178,000 km of fibre assets and controls more than 428,000 of inter and intra-city fibre around the country. This has automatically extended its reach to more cities.
In addition, Jio has added 43,000 towers which come in addition to over 1,00,000 towers of its own. This will substantially help the company to increase its 4G coverage and take on Bharti Airtel more aggressively.