Riding on the back of a comprehensive infrastructure sharing agreement with Bharti Airtel in December, Reliance Jio Infocomm on Tuesday announced that it will “utilise the telecom towers of Bharti Infratel to launch its services across the country”. The deal is expected to allow Reliance Jio to avoid duplication of infrastructure, keep operational costs low and roll out telecom services faster.
As per the agreement, the pricing would be at ‘arm’s length’, based on prevailing market rates.
“Reliance Jio Infocomm, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries and the first telecom operator to hold pan-India unified licence, and Bharti Infratel, India’s leading provider of telecom tower infrastructure, on Tuesday announced the signing of a master services agreement,” both the companies said in identical statements. Under the agreement, Reliance Jio would utilise the telecom tower infrastructure of Bharti Infratel — the tower arm of Sunil Mittal-promoted Bharti Airtel — to launch its services across the country.
Reliance Jio MD Sanjay Mashruwala said, “This agreement is in line with our earlier comprehensive telecom infrastructure sharing arrangement with Bharti Airtel aimed at avoiding duplication of infrastructure, wherever possible, and to preserve capital and the environment. The agreement will help us with the faster roll out of our services across the country.”
In December, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio had signed a comprehensive telecom infrastructure sharing arrangement, which included roaming on 2G, 3G and 4G networks in future. In April 2013, the two operators had also inked a pact to use Bharti’s undersea i2i submarine cable networks to provide data connectivity across Asia Pacific.
Bharti Infratel CEO DS Rawat said, “Our vast footprint and high network uptime levels will offer significant synergies of faster access to market and lower operational costs. The agreement would also benefit our existing customers with lower rentals and energy charges as a result of additional sharing.”