BHUBANESWAR: Reliance Jio can take the credit for putting a thought-through consolidation strategy to destabilise the incumbents. Less than two years since rolling out 4G services, the Mukesh Ambani led-company is not far from becoming a numero uno player — not just limited to mobile telephony but in fiber to home space (FTTH) to boot. “With the successful completion of the fiber monetisation transaction, Reliance Communication has transferred 1.78 lakh km of fiber to RJio,” Rcom said in a statement. With this, Jio will now have a much larger network, controlling 4.28 lakh kilometers of inter and intra-city fiber across the country.
Earlier, the white knight for the Anil Ambani group company has also acquired Rcom’s media convergence nodes (MNCs) and related infrastructure assets worth Rs 2,000 crore. As part of a deal signed by the Ambani brothers last year, the big brother will become the sole owner of Rcom’s assets which includes more than 43,000 towers, 1.78-lakh route km of optical fiber cable network, 122.4 MHz of spectrum in the 800, 900, 1800 and 2100 MHz bands and 248 MCNs.
Analysts say these assets are expected to expedite RJio’s bigger plans of large-scale rollout of wireless, FTTH and enterprise service. “These assets are crucial for RJio, India’s second largest tower owner, and will help the company to launch its FTTH service in over 30 cities across the country next year, taking on Bharti Airtel,” noted a senior telecom analyst. According to the latest TRAI data, the optical fiber-based broadband segment is currently dominated by BSNL (9.24 million), followed by Bharti Airtel (2.19 million) as on April, 2018.
For Jio, the acquisition is also in line with its aggressive customer acquisition strategy. “Firstly, the company may immediately disrupt the broadband pricing, forcing bigger rival Airtel to slash rates and secondly, if the company chooses to bundle its wired broadband packs with current 4G packs, the larger mobile services market would also feel the pinch,” said the analyst. Clearly, it will help the company to meet its target of 100 million television households in the next 12 months, he added.