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Reliance Jio signs tower sharing deal with BSNL

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Another month and Reliance Industries’ data service venture Reliance Jio Infocomm has signed another tower sharing agreement. This time with the state-run telco BSNL to lease around 4,000 mobile towers, reports PTI.

As per the agreement, BSNL will be offering these towers at a base rate of Rs 38,000 per month for ground-based towers and Rs 24,900 per month for rooftop based towers.

BSNL Director (Consumer Mobility) Anupam Shrivastava told the publication that it will offer these towers at discounted rates if Reliance Jio commits to leasing 1,500 towers in the first year. There will be a further 5% discount if Reliance Jio commits to leasing at least 1,000 towers within three months.

BSNL hiving off towers: It’s worth noting that BSNL had started the process of hiving its tower assets into a separate subsidiary in April this year. This was after receiving an in-principle nod from the government in February this year, as indicated by a separate PTI report.

BSNL had also received cabinet approval to surrender BWA spectrum in six of the twenty circles for a refund of Rs 6,724.51 crore in January this year. This was done in a bid to improve its existing financial condition. (Also readBSNL posts Rs 7,085 Cr loss in FY14; Landline biz loss up, Revival plans)

Other Infrastructure Agreements by Reliance Jio

Besides BSNL, Reliance Jio has also signed similar partnerships with other telcos like:

– Reliance Communications: 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.

Bharti Airtel: Infrastructure sharing deal in December last year and a International data connectivity deal in April last year.

Videocon Telecom: Infrastructure sharing deal in July this year.

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 in June this year.

–  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. In June this year, 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 was expected to launch in July 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.

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