The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has reportedly approved the proposed sale Reliance Communications (RCom) infrastructure assets to Reliance Jio. Reporters at PTI has confirmed the progress, and they learnt this information from two people who are familiar with the development. This news will surely boost Reliance Jio as it’s expected to bolster its network infrastructure by acquiring RCom’s assets. At the time of announcing the definite agreement, both the companies said that the deal would be closed sometime in March 2018.
Back in December 2017, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio confirmed that it’s going to acquire the infrastructure assets of debt-laden RCom for an undisclosed amount. While both the companies chose not to reveal the agreement value, rumours mill suggest a massive Rs 18,000 crore deal. And the sale of network assets has helped RCom to reduce its massive debt.
At the time of acquiring the assets, Reliance Jio announced that it would acquire assets of RCom under four categories- Towers, Optic Fiber Cable Network (OFC), Spectrum and Media Convergence Nodes (MCN).
RCom’ 4G spectrum in 122.4 MHz in the 800/900/1800/2100 MHz bands, along with 43,000 towers, 248 media convergence nodes and 178,000 kilometres of fiber will now be part of Reliance Jio’s assets. That’s a massive amount of spectrum and optic fiber coverage.
Right after the deal announcement, Moody’s stated that this deal would further bolster Reliance Jio’s 4G-only network. Also, the optical fiber network will play a significant role in Jio’s large-scale fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) and enterprise services in the future.
The Indian telecom industry is all about consolidations in the last 18 months. Due to Jio’s aggressive approach towards the industry, all the small players have now left the industry or consolidated with the major players. RCom is one amongst them. The Anil Ambani-led telco tried to be in the market- looking for a merger with Aircel, consolidation with Airtel and what not. The industry now has four major players with over 150 million subscribers, which will soon become three once the Idea-Vodafone merger receives regulatory approvals.