Bharti and Reliance Jio join hands for infrastructure sharing

Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm today announced a comprehensive telecom infrastructure sharing arrangement under which they will share infrastructure created by both parties on a pan India basis.

This will include optic fibre network – inter and intra city, submarine cable networks, towers and internet broadband services and other such opportunities identified in the future.

The cooperation is aimed at avoiding duplication of infrastructure, wherever possible, and to preserve capital and the environment. This will also provide redundancy in order to ensure seamless services to customers of the respective parties.

The arrangement could, in future, be extended to roaming on 2G, 3G and 4G, and any other mutually benefiting areas relating to telecom, including but not limited to jointly laying optic fibre or other forms of infrastructure services. The pricing would be at ‘arm’s length’, based on the prevailing market rates.

As part of this arrangement, Bharti and Reliance Jio have already announced an agreement under which Bharti has provided capacity on its i2i submarine cable to Reliance Jio.

Reliance Jio can leverage Bharti Infratel’s 35,376 towers in 11 telecom circles across India and also Indus Towers’ 112,144 towers in 15 telecom circles across India. Th company can also leverage Bharti’s national long distance network providing pan-India reach with 175,705 Rkms of optic fibre.

Bharti’s global network runs across 225,000 Rkms, covering 50 countries and 5 continents. This includes ownership of i2i submarine cable system connecting Chennai to Singapore, consortium ownership of SMW4 submarine cable system connecting Chennai and Mumbai to Singapore and Europe, and new cable system investments like Asia America Gateway (AAG), India Middle East & Western Europe (IMEWE), Unity, EIG (Europe India Gateway) and East Africa Submarine System (EASSy). It also has terrestrial express connectivity to neighboring countries including Nepal, Pakistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh and China.

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