Reliance Industries’ data service venture Reliance Jio Infocomm has signed yet another tower sharing agreement for its (forever) upcoming 4G services. This time with Global Group’s telecom tower firm GTL Infrastructure Limited.
As per the agreement, Reliance Jio will get access to over 27,800 towers across 22 circles that are jointly owned by GTL Infrastructure and Chennai Network Infrastructure Limited. Charudatta Naik, Group CEO, Global Group mentions that these towers will play a key role in rolling out broadband networks particularly in regions like North East and South India.
In May this year, Reliance Jio Managing Director Sanjay Mashruwala had mentioned that they will be offering 4G services through a combination of towers they are renting from these partners and those that they are constructing on their own. It apparently plans to construct around 25,000-30,000 towers on its own.
Other Infrastructure Agreements by Reliance Jio
– State-run telco BSNL to lease around 4,000 mobile towers in August this year.
– A Rs 1,200 crore fibre optic network infrastructure sharing deal with Reliance Communications 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.
– An Infrastructure sharing deal with Videocon to lease around 500 towers in Uttar Pradesh (East), Uttar Pradesh (West), Jharkhand and Bihar in July this year.
– 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.
In May this year, Reliance Industries had mentioned that it has rolled out free Wi-Fi hotspots in eight locations at Ahmedabad and nine locations at Baroda and Surat.
In the following 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 was expected to launch in July and continue through the end of 2014 and early 2015.
Reliance Jio had also joined the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) as a core member of the GSM industry body in August this year. This was quite an interesting development considering that COAI had previously taken a stand against Reliance Jio on certain issues.