Bharti and Jio to invest more than USD1bn on 4G in Punjab

10 Dec 2013

Bharti Airtel and 4G startup Reliance Jio Infocomm, the telecoms division of petrochemical giant Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) have announced plans to invest a combined total of INR65 billion (USD1.067 billion) in developing 4G networks in Punjab. Hindu Business Line writes that Airtel has inked a deal with the government of Punjab to invest INR40 billion on its networks in the region, including the deployment of 10,000km of fibre-optic cable and the extension of 4G services to cover the majority of the population. Airtel also plans to channel funds into its existing 2G mobile operations in the province, as well as fixed line voice, DSL broadband and direct to home (DTH) TV services. Sunil Mittal, the telco’s chairman and CEO commented on the deal: ‘Just like the mobile phone connected millions across Punjab, this high speed data connectivity initiative will further empower people with information and services available at the touch of a screen. I am confident that this initiative will make Punjab a model State for rest of the country.’

Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani meanwhile announced that Jio would be investing INR25 billion on deploying its 4G network in Punjab, and raised the possibility of a future deal with Airtel, commenting: ‘For further enhancing the digital experience, we can have a collaborative partnership with our friend Mr Mittal.’