Reliance Jio Videocon Telecom

Reliance Industries’ data service venture Reliance Jio Infocomm has signed a tower sharing agreement with Videocon Telecom, reports Light Reading India.

As per the agreement, Reliance Jio will be using Videocon Telecom’s tower infrastructure comprising of 500 towers in Uttar Pradesh (East), Uttar Pradesh (West), Jharkhand and Bihar to launch its 4G services.

It’s worth noting that Videocon Telecom is also planning to launch 4G services of their own by December this year. It was looking to offer these services in eight Indian states including Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, UP (East & West), Bihar and Jharkhand. Videocon Telecom CEO Arvind Bali had stated plans of providing various 4G related services like Live IPTV among others.

The report suggests that Videocon Telecom is apparently exploring options to collaborate with Reliance Jio for network sharing, optical fiber network sharing and broadband services when it roll out 4G services in these regions.

From the looks of it, this seems quite similar to Reliance Communications’ partnership with Reliance Jio. It initially signed a Rs 1,200 crore fibre optic network infrastructure sharing deal in April 2013, followed by a Rs 12,000 crore worth tower sharing deal in June 2013 and an intra-city fibre infrastructure sharing deal in April this year.

At the time, Reliance Communications had also noted that it is currently discussing other mutual co-operation initiatives with Reliance Jio, although it hadn’t disclose any specific details on these initiatives. (ReadRCOM’s Gurdeep Singh on whether Reliance Jio is a partner or competition).

Besides Reliance Communications, Reliance Jio had also tied up with its biggest competitor Bharti Airtel for infrastructure sharing in December last year. It also has a tie-up with Airtel for international data connectivity. Note that Bharti Airtel is currently the only player offering 4G services in the country.

Other Infrastructure Agreements

Besides telecom operators, Reliance Jio has also signed infrastructure deals with quite a few players for its 4G services. This includes:

–  Ascend Telecom for 4,500 towers across India last month.

–  Tower Vision India for 8,400 towers across India in May this year.

–  ATC India for 11,000 towers across India in April this year.

–  Viom Networks and Bharti Infratel in March this year.

RIL had also joined a consortium to set up a submarine cable system via the Bay of Bengal in April last year. Last month, Reliance Industries chairman and CEO Mukesh Ambani had informed that they would launching its data services in a phased manner across India in 2015, after conducting expanded trials which is expected to launch this month and continue through the end of 2014 and early 2015.

Reliance Industries had mentioned in its annual report in May this year, that they are rolling-out high speed internet services via optical fibre (FTTX) in over 900 cities/towns in the country. The company had also rolled out free Wi-Fi hotspots in eight locations at Ahmedabad and nine locations at Baroda and Surat.