The communications services companies of the two Ambani brothers on Monday announced agreements for trading and sharing of scarce airwaves, or radio frequency spectrum, in the 800MHz band, covering virtually the entire country. A roaming agreement is also on cards.
The pact for trading involves a change in spectrum allotment from the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications to Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio over nine circles and that for sharing between the two companies covers 17 circles, the two entities said.
“The spectrum arrangements between Reliance Jio Infocom and Reliance Communications will result in network synergies, enhanced network capacity and will optimise spectrum utilisation and capex (capital expenditure) efficiencies,” the companies said in separate statements.
“Both operators anticipate considerable savings in operating costs and future investment in networks… Customers of RCom will benefit from access to RJIL’s world class LTE network under the reciprocal sharing and ICR agreements… The arrangements are subject to liberalisation of RCom spectrum in the 800 MHz band and obtaining requisite approvals.”
“These agreements further strengthen the comprehensive framework of business co-operation between RJIL and RCom group, following the nationwide long term IRU agreements for inter and intra city optical fibre networks, and for sharing of telecom tower infrastructure.”
As of now, Reliance Jio is only available for 1 lakh Reliance employees across India. Before this, it was only accessible in the Navi Mumbai office of Reliance, and now will over the next few months be put through a kind of beta test to see how effective the coverage is. While there is no confirmed date for the commercial launch, it is expected to take place in late March or April 2016.