Bharti Airtel and Reliance Industries’ will-it-ever-launch data services venture Jio have inked a Master Services Agreement, allowing Jio to utilize Infratel’s tower infrastructure across the country, with the pricing at ‘arm’s length’ based on prevailing market rates. This is Jio’s second partnership with a Bharti group enterprise. In December last year, it had inked a similar agreement with Bharti Airtel, looking to avoid duplication of infrastructure. Unlike Bharti Infratel, Airtel is a direct competitor for Jio, and the two companies will share optic fibre, submarine cable networks, towers and internet broadband services. That arrangement could be extended to roaming on 2G, 3G and 4G services. This particular deal comes almost a year after Jio and Airtel partnered for international data connectivity. 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. It has also joined a consortium to set up a submarine cable system via the Bay of Bengal.

In the recently concluded spectrum auctions, Reliance Jio won 78.8 MHz spectrum in 1800 MHz in 14 circles for Rs 11054.41 crore. In terms of city specific spectrum, the maximum spectrum it won was 6.6 MHz for Rs 1795.20 crore in Mumbai, followed by Madhya Pradesh (6.4 MHz for Rs 22 crore) and North East (6.4 MHz for Rs 44.8 crore). The most expensive spectrum it won was in Delhi, at Rs 1965.6 crore for 5.4 MHz.

Download our table for the spectrum auction results here.

Recent Reliance Jio News:

Feb 14, 2014:  Jio will be using the spectrum acquired in 1800MHz band along with its pan-India 2300MHz spectrum to address the expected increase in demand for digital services and improve its in-building coverage.  Read more.

Feb 14, 2014: Reliance wins 78.8 MHz spectrum in 1800 MHz in the auctions. More here.

Jan 6, 2014: Some Reliance Jio services. Read more.

Dec 12, 2013: DoT issues 2.2 Crore numbers to Reliance Jio. Read more.

Dec 10, 2013: Jio inks an infrastructure sharing deal with Bharti Airtel. Read more.

Dec 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

Nov 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

Oct 25, 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

Aug 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.