Reliance Jio seals tower-sharing pact with GTL for 4G rollout

The Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm today said it has signed an agreement with GTL Infrastructure to share its telecom towers, gearing up the launch of its 4G broadband services for which it has pan-India spectrum.

GTL Infra, together with Chennai Network Infra, has a combined portfolio of more than 27,800 towers spread across 22 telecom circles in India, which service all the telecom major service providers in the country.

"Our mission is to launch pan-India next-generation voice and data services. We will build the same through a judicious combination of own build and rented infrastructure," said Sanjay Mashruwala, managing director of Reliance Jio Infocomm, in New Delhi.

"This agreement with GTL Infra is not only a step in that direction but will also help accelerate our roll-out."

Charudatta Naik, group chief executive of Global Group, the promoter of GTL Infra, said, "The launch of 4G networks and the rise in consumption of data services is a growth driver for tower companies."

He said both groups were geared up to capture the opportunity. "Our portfolio will play an important role in rolling out broadband networks especially in regions like north-east and southern India where we hold a leadership position."

Reliance Jio already has pacts with Ascend Telecom for more than 4,500 towers, with Tower Vision for 8,400 towers, with ATC India for 11,000 towers and with Viom Networks for 42,000 towers.

This apart, the company also has entered into agreements with Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications for sharing their extensive inter-city and intra-city infrastructure of nearly 520,000 km of optic fibre, besides 45,000 towers.

Global Group is an infrastructure services group focused on telecom, shared networks and power. With revenues of over $800 million, it has two companies listed on Indian stock exchanges, GTL and GTL Infrastructure.