Reliance Jio, led by MukeshAmbani, has, on Tuesday, September 10 2013,signed a license agreement with the city civic body, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) for laying out a high-speed 4G network.
The agreement was signed between TarunJhunjhunwala, business development head and mentor (east) of Reliance Jio and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) secretary in the presence of MIC (Mayor-in-Charge) AtinGhosh and Municipal Commissioner of the corporation. Jhunjhunwala said that the cost of the project would be Rs 4,000 crore and likely to be completed during the first quarter of 2014.According to civic officials, KMC would earn a one-time income of Rs 26 crore from the project.
“The license agreement between KMC and Reliance Jio has been signed. We would earn a one-time fee from the transaction,” AtinGhosh, Member, Mayor-In-Council (Roads), said. Ghosh told reporters here that the company would lay 750 km of optical fibre cable within KMC’s jurisdiction, the work for which would start after the Durga Puja in October.
Ghosh said that KMC had decided to give speedy approval to the project after Ambani discussed the issue with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during a business meeting with her in Mumbai recently.
Reliance Jio officials had earlier stated that the company was planning to roll out 4G services in Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi by March 2014. This will expand to cover 700 cities, including 100 high-priority markets. Reliance 4G services are currently only available in Jamnagar, where it is testing the new TD-LTE technology.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has given an approval to Reliance Jio to test the messaging feature on the 4G LTE platform. The approval to test SMS follows an extension of six months granted by the department to Reliance Jio to test voice over the same 4G LTE technology.
This deal means that Reliance Jio will take an early lead in the 4G domain in India. This license agreement is pivotal and is a vital strategic move for Reliance Industries Limited which has a pan-India 4G license. Reliance is investing nearly Rs 3,000 crore over a three-year period for rolling out 4G services. Reliance Jio, sources said, is likely to get approvals for rolling out high-speed internet services across 54 towns in West Bengal.