Reliance Jio to use Bharti Infratel’s towers for faster 4G rollout

Reliance Jio Infocomm has entered into a tower-sharing deal with Bharti Infratel as the telecom unit of Reliance Industries tries to tie up for 1,00,000 towers for a faster rollout of its much-awaited data and voice services.

 Reliance Jio plans to lease around 70,000 towers and put up 30,000 of its own, including smaller cell sites on single poles, said a person with knowledge of the matter.

The company is negotiating for a rental of just about Rs15,000 a month for the leased towers, much lower than the industry average of Rs24,000-31,000, said another person involved in the talks. Reliance Jio is seeking the price cuts because its loading and power requirements are lower than traditional telecom equipment, this person said. According to industry sources, Reliance Jio is expected to launch fourth-generation voice and data services in the October-December quarters.

Mukesh Ambani's son Akash joins Reliance Industries; begins at telecom arm Reliance Jio

Thirty-two years ago, Dhirubhai Ambani's son Mukesh joined the company his father had founded. Now, Chairman Mukesh Ambani's son Akash has joined Reliance Industries Ltd, starting at its telecom unit at a critical time. He's involved in finalising the go-to-market strategy of the ambitious 4G telecom venture, said two persons aware of the development.He comes to office regularly and sits in review meetings with his father and Manoj Modi. He is also working closely with Reliance Jio Infocomm's Group President Sandip Das. The company doesn't want to talk about it because he is new to the business and learning the ropes," said one of those cited above.
It is learnt that Akash, who was also seen at the IPL players' auction last week along with mother Nita Ambani, is working with Das in preparing a comprehensive plan for Reliance Jio that will include strategies for customer acquisition, service, call centres and related issues.
According to one of the persons cited above, Mukesh Ambani is keen that his son sits through all critical meetings of Reliance Jio because he feels this would be the best education for him. The elder Ambani learnt the fundamentals of the group's flagship petrochemicals business by shadowing his father, the late Dhirubhai Ambani, at every meeting and at every juncture that decisions were taken.

Reliance Jio grants Rs 273 crore order for lithium ion batteries to France's Saft

Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (RJIL), the telecom arm of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries, has placed an order worthRs. 273 crore for lithium ion battery with Paris-based Saft.

The batteries will be used at its mobile tower sites for meeting power requirements.

"Saft has won 35 million Euro (Rs. 273 crore) of orders to supply specialised lithium-ion (Li-ion) telecom battery systems for Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL) broadband mobile base stations in India," Saft said in a statement.

RJIL is the only company to have 20 Megahertz of pan-India airwaves that can be used for 4G services.

The company's much-awaited network is expected to infuse competition in the market and drive down price of telecom services. RJIL has, however, not made its plan public for launching services in the country.

Saft said first deliveries of batteries began during the second quarter of 2013 and will be completed by the end of the first quarter 2014.

RJIL, formerly Infotel Broadband Services, said it has developed new Voice Over LTE technology that would be able to connect call seamlessly across existing 2G, 3G, NLD (national long distance) and ILD (international long distance) networks.

Reliance Jio gets DoT nod to test messaging on 4G

Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJIL), the telecom subsidiary of Reliance Industries, has received an approval from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to test the messaging feature on the fourth-generation long-term evolution, or 4G LTE, platform, according to an internal document.
The approval to test SMS follows an extension of six months granted by the department to RJIL to test voice over the same 4G LTE technology. RIL, an Internet service provider, was allowed to begin offering voice services under a new licencing regime after paying an entry fee of 1,658 crore.

RIL, through its acquisition of Infotel Broadband in 2010, got licences to offer broadband wireless services pan-India. The company is currently trying to develop the 4G LTE technology, which will allow it to offer voice in the 20 megahertz spectrum in the 2.3 gigahertz band - the spectrum band traditionally identified for transmitting data.
According to the internal noting of the DoT dated July 31 and seen by ET, the department has observed: "For testing voice over LTE technology, availability of SMS is an important feature. So, it is desirable to test it." As it attempts to develop technology to offer voice services, it had requested the government to allot it 10,000 phone numbers.

Reliance Jio to utilize RCom’s 45,000 towers in Rs 12,000 crore pact for 4G roll-out

Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. on Friday signed a 12,000 crore agreement with Reliance Communications Ltd. for sharing of latter’s nationwide telecom towers infrastructure.

“Under the terms of the agreement, Reliance Jio Infocomm will utilise upto 45,000 ground and rooftop based towers across RCOM’s nationwide network for accelerated roll-out of its state-of-the-art 4G services” Reliance Jio said in a statement.
The agreement provides for joint working arrangements to configure the scope of additional towers to be built at new locations to ensure deep penetration and seamless delivery of next generation services.

Anil Ambani's debt ridden RCom can draw comfort from Reliance Jio deal

The agreement signed by Reliance Communications with Reliance Jio - the telecom arm of Mukesh-Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries to share the tower infrastructure of RCom - for which the value has been assigned at Rs 12,000 crore for the lifetime of the agreement - should provide a measure of comfort to investors and the debt-laden firm of the Anil Ambani Group.

The deal comes at a time when RCom's debt servicing poses a major challenge. For FY13, the telecom company's interest to earnings before interest and tax or EBIT was 0.75 compared to 0.6 last year and 0.4 a year before that.

Reliance Jio to hire about 7,000 employees this year

MUMBAI: Reliance Industries' telecom arm will increase its staff strength by nearly three-fold this year to 10,000 as it gears up to launch fourth generation (4G) services.

Company chairman Mukesh Ambani, however, did not give any timeframe for the launch of services and said he would give more details only in next AGM about the product and the launch. 

"Hopefully, next year same time I will be able to give more information about the product and the launch," RIL Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani said while addressing company shareholders.