India's Reliance Industries telecoms unit agrees tower lease pact

NEW DELHI, March 17 Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:23am EDT

NEW DELHI, March 17 (Reuters) - Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries' telecommunications unit, which holds nationwide 4G permits, has agreed to lease mobile phone masts from infrastructure provider Viom Networks, the companies said on Monday.

Reliance Jio Infocomm's agreement with Viom comes after its tower-leasing pacts with local firms Reliance Communications and Bharti Infratel. Reliance Jio also has an agreement with Bharti Infratel's parent Bharti Airtel to share network.

Reliance Jio and unlisted Viom did not give financial details of the agreement. Viom has 42,000 mobile phone towers, according to a joint statement.

Reliance Industries, controlled by India's richest man Mukesh Ambani bought 4G airwaves in a 2010 government sale, but has yet to launch services. It added some airwaves it can use to offer 4G services from an auction this year.

Viom Networks is a joint venture between India's SREI Infrastructure and mobile carrier Tata Teleservices. (Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)