At a time when the leading telecoms are drawing plans to offer 3G services, Mukesh Ambani-led RIL on Friday announced it can offer fourth generation 4G wireless services after acquiring Infotel which bagged 20 MHz of Broadband Wireless Access nation-wide spectrum.
Infotel, acquired by RIL, was the only successful bidder in all of the 22 circles in the BWA auction conducted. The 20 MHz, contiguous, pan-India spectrum secured by RIL through this stake is an extremely valuable resource, Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, RIL, told shareholders here.
“With this, Reliance can now offer fourth generation wireless Infocomm services across the nation,” he said, adding that to build this the company would look at partnerships at various levels.
RIL paid Rs. 4,800 crore for acquiring 95 per cent stake in Infotel by way of creating fresh capital and on top of this the company would be paying over Rs. 12,872 crore to the government towards spectrum fees.
In all, RIL has pegged its total investment at about USD 5 billion in the telecom sector.
“We will collaborate with strategic partners, such as service providers, infrastructure providers, device makers and other participants in the ecosystem,” he said.
With the BWA spectrum, the operators have different options for offering wireless broadband services using different technologies like Wimax or LTE (Long Term Evolution) and both are compatible with the next generation 4G mobile services.
This is an opportunity for RIL to claim leadership in a new frontier of the knowledge economy, by creating end-to-end solutions that address the entire infocomm value chain, Ambani said at the 36th Annual General Meeting of the RIL.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recently started the consultation process for the 4G services and is yet to come out with its recommendations.