MUMBAI Dec 10 Indian conglomerate Reliance
Industries, set to launch 4G services into the highly
competitive Indian telecoms market, has signed a deal with the
country's largest telecoms operator Bharti Airtel, to
share telecom infrastructure.
The two companies will share inter and intra-city optic
fibre network, submarine cable networks, towers and internet
The arrangement may be extended in future to roaming
services on 2G, 3G and 4G platforms, and any other mutually
benefiting areas relating to telecommunication, the two
"The cooperation is aimed at avoiding duplication of
infrastructure, wherever possible, and to preserve capital and
the environment," Bharti said in a statement.
The financial details of the agreement were not disclosed,
but an identical statement by both companies said the pricing
would be at "arm's length, based on prevailing market rates".
Reliance Industries, controlled by India's richest man
Mukesh Ambani, plans to roll out a nationwide 4G network as part
of its foray into telecoms. The company's unit Reliance Jio
Infocomm won airwaves in 2010, but is yet to start commercial
The company already holds an agreement to lease undersea
cable capacity from Bharti. It has also signed deals with rival
Reliance Communications, controlled by Mukesh's
younger brother Anil Ambani, for sharing mobile tower
infrastructure and optic fibre network.
Bharti, which will compete with Reliance Jio in the wireless
broadband business, has already launched 4G networks in some
Indian cities. The telecoms major, nearly a third owned by
Southeast Asia's SingTel, in October bought out
Qualcomm Inc's stake in a 4G broadband joint venture to
take full control.