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Reliance Jio Moves To Merge Infotel Telecom With Itself

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Reliance Jio Infocomm, the mobile services unit of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd, has informed the telecom department (DoT) that it intends to merge its wholly-owned subsidiary Infotel Telecom Ltd with itself to allow it to offer national and international long distance services under a single licence.

In a letter to DoT, Reliance Jio and Infotel Telecom said that the latter had moved the Mumbai High Court in February seeking approval to merge with the holding company.

Infotel Telecom owns licences to offer national long distance (NLD) and international long distance (ILD) services, while Jio has licences to offer high speed data and voice services across India through airwaves in the 2300 Mhz band. It also recently won spectrum in the 1800 Mhz band in 14 circles, through which it can offer voice as well.

By merging both entities, Jio will comply with the unified licence, under which all telephony and data services can be offered under a single permit.

Jio bought 95% stake in Infotel Telecom Ltd for Rs 4,800 crore immediately after broadband wireless access (BWA) or wireless broadband bandwidth was auctioned in 2010.

“In view of RJIL holding unified licence having authorisation of all services including NLD and ILD services, we wish to carry out NLD and ILD business under a single licence. It is, therefore, proposed to consolidate ITL and RJIL into one single company through amalgamation,” the two companies said in the letter.

Jio is the only company to own 20 Mhz of broadband spectrum in the 2300 Mhz band, using which it can offer 4G services across all circles. The company did not respond to an ET questionnaire seeking confirmation.

Jio had obtained the unified licence from DoT in October last year after it paid up Rs 1,658 crore, the requisite amount internet service providers owning wireless broadband airwaves had to pay for offering voice services. However, this move has been challenged in the Supreme Court. Earlier, telecom companies had to obtain separate licences for offering voice, data and other services. Original post at The Economic Times

Wahengbam Rorrkychand

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