The other Reliance is in the news this morning with a deal for substantial undersea connectivity to Singapore. Reliance Jio, the new 4G entrant in India owned by Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries, has followed up the fiber sharing deal with his brother Anil’s Reliance Communications by dealing for more fiber with another rival.
This time it’s with Bharti Airtel for capacity on i2i, the submarine cable system connecting Chennai with Singapore. That fills in a gap he couldn’t get from his brother, although he could have done a deal with Tata instead I suppose. Cooperation between the large providers in India has historically been, err, problematic. But in order to get their 4G network off the ground, Reliance Jio is apparently ready to bury a few hatchets.
Reliance Industries spent big on wireless spectrum for its LTE buildout, and the fact that they’re lining up fiber suggests it’s no feint. It will take them a year to roll things out, and there are other infrastructure pieces yet to line up. Hmmm, maybe Mukesh ought to be the one buying Reliance Globalcom, although perhaps that would be a bridge too far.
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