Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJIL), which is preparing to launch 4G services, today signed a master services agreement for tower sharing with Indus Towers.Indus Towers, which is the largest tower company in the world, is a joint venture company of Bharti Group, Aditya Birla Group and Vodafone Group. It has 113,490 towers in 15 telecom circles across the country. As part of the agreement, the telecom arm of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) would utilize the tower infrastructure services being provided by Indus Towers to launch its services across the country, the company said in a statement.
The pricing would be based on prevailing market rates, the statement added. “We are building our network through a combination of infrastructure network that we are creating on our own and those that we are renting from quality partners,” RJIL Managing Director Sanjay Mashruwala said. He added: “We already have such tower sharing agreements with all the major players in India, and this relationship with Indus Towers will further accelerate the rollout of our services.” The company has recently signed an agreement with GTL Infra for more than 27,800 towers across India. It had also signed pact with Viom Networks for its 42,000 towers, Reliance Communications for its 45,000 towers, ATC India for its 11,000 towers, Tower Vision for its 8,400 towers, Ascend Telecom for its over 4,500 towers.
The company had also signed a deal with Bharti Airtel to share infrastructure created by both parties to avoid duplication wherever possible. “Our agreement with Reliance Jio will also bring benefits to our existing customers in the form of lower rentals and energy costs. At the same time, the infrastructure sharing will help in avoiding duplication of towers and benefit the environment through lower power and fuel consumption,” Indus Towers CEO BS Shantharaju said.
Currently Indus Towers services 11 operators — Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, Aircel, Tata Teleservices, Uninor, Reliance Communications, Videocon, MTNL, BSNL and MTS. RIL had earlier said that RJio will initially cover about 5,000 towns and cities accounting for over 90 per cent of urban India, as well as over 215,000 villages, and the target is to expand this to over 600,000 villages.