The board of Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio) has approved plans to hive off the cellco’s fibre and tower assets into two separate units, the Economic Times reports. The shift is expected to make it easier for the operator to monetise the assets in future as competition between the nation’s top three mobile providers – Vodafone Idea, Bharti Aitel and Jio – continues to intensify. Jio owns and operates over 300,000km of fibre and utilises around 220,000 towers, although the latter figure includes its own sites and those leased from other providers and infrastructure operators. A regulatory filing from Jio on the matter provided no further details on the planned spin-off, but noted that the move was subject to regulatory approvals.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database the lead trio represented nearly 90% of India’s 1.16 billion mobile subscribers at the end of September 2018: recently-merged Vodafone Idea took first place with 37.5% of the space, followed by Airtel with 28.7% and Jio with 21.8%.