Reliance Jio in pact with BSNL for leasing mobile towers

Reliance Jio Infocomm has signed a pact to lease state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd's (BSNL) to lease its telecom towers.

According to the agreement, RIL will pay a lease rental of Rs38,000 per ground-based towers (GBT) each month and (RBT) Rs24,900 per month for each rooftop-based towers.

BSNL, which has a total of 4,000 mobile towers, is reported to have offered a 5-per cent discount to Reliance Jio commits to leasing at least 1,500 towers in the first year.

"The rent for ground towers will be Rs35,000 per month and Rs21,000 per month for rooftop towers if Reliance Jio commits leasing of 1,500 towers in first year," PTI quoted BSNL director (consumer mobility) Anupam Shrivastava as saying.

BSNL is reported to have offered to further reduce the rent by another 5 per cent if Reliance Jio agrees to lease at least 1000 towers within the coming three months.

The Mukesh Ambani-led company has a pan-India licence that can be used for deploying 4G services across India. In fact Reliance Jio is one of the first telecom operators in India to get hold of unified licence in all the 22 circles.

This deal will also offer some respite to cash-strapped BSNL, which is currently reeling under losses and heavy operating costs.

BSNL, meanwhile, is in the process of hiving off its tower assets into a separate subsidiary after it received an in-principle nod from the government in February this year.

Besides BSNL, Reliance Jio has also signed similar infrastructure sharing deals with other telcos like Reliance Communications, Bharti Airtel, Videocon Telecom, Ascend Telecom, Tower Vision India, ATC India, Viom Networks and Bharti Infratel.