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Reliance Jio Ties Up With Bharti Airtel For Infrastructure Sharing; Redundancy?

Reliance Jio, Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Industries’ why-is-it-taking-so-long 4G venture with Bharti Airtel for sharing telecom infrastructure. The two companies will share “optic fibre, submarine cable networks, towers and internet broadband services”, to avoid duplication of infrastructure and provide “redundancy to improve quality of service”. The arrangement, the companies say, could be extended to roaming on 2G, 3G and 4G services. This is essentially an expansion of an earlier partnership between Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel in April this year, for international data connectivity. According to Airtel, the arrangement could, in future, be extended to Roaming on 2G, 3G and 4G, and any other mutually benefiting areas relating to telecommunication, including but not limited to jointly laying optic fibre or other forms of infrastructure services.

Jio also has an agreement with Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications for sharing its nationwide inter-city fibre optic network infrastructure, and tower infrastructure within India, and the partnership with Airtel appears to be an attempt to build redundancy for powering its 4G services. RIL has also joined a consortium to set up a submarine cable system via the Bay of Bengal.

Recent Reliance Jio News:

December 2, 2013: Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJIL) has signed a deal with Samsung to procure BTS infrastructure for its 4G rollout, according to an unconfirmed report. Reliance Industries’s was earlier in talks with Samsung to buy LTE handsets, but apparently that deal fell through over pricing issues. Read more

November 7, 2013: Reliance Industries’ payment solutions subsidiary Reliance Payment Solutions Ltd is the latest company to have received prepaid mobile wallet license by the Reserve Bank of India, for a prepaid payment instrument called ‘Jio Money’. Read more

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October 25th, 2013: Reliance Jio migrated its existing ISP license along with Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum to the Unified License regime with authorization for all services except Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite Service (GMPCS) under Unified License in all service areas. Read more

August 6, 2013: Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL) apparently had talks with the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) for the proposed rollout of 4G services in Kolkata, reports FirstPost. Reliance Jio business head & state mentor (East) Tarun Jhunjhunwala said the project is valued at Rs 3,000 crore and they would be starting the project work soon, after receiving the requisite permissions. The work is expected to complete by Q1 2014.

The report also mentions that RJIL has apparently received an approval from Department of Telecommunications (DoT), to test the SMS feature on its 4G LTE platform.

July 16, 2013: Reliance Jio Infocomm has apparently secured a six month extension to test voice over LTE (VoLTE) service, reports Telecom Lead. The company had previously got around 10,000 mobile numbers for testing 4G services whose permit is reportedly expiring today (July 16, 2013).

July 3, 2013: Reliance Industries’s deal with Samsung has apparently fell through over pricing issues, reportsThe Economic Times citing sources involved in these negotiations. The report says that Reliance Jio Infocomm wanted the handsets to be priced at Rs 5,500 per handset while Samsung is refusing to go below Rs 8,500 per handset along with a commitment of RIL purchasing 3 million handsets from them. Without the commitment, Samsung has apparently priced the handset at Rs 11,000 per handset. Samsung has declined to comment on this development to ET while RIL hasn’t apparently responded to the publication.

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Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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