Jio to create separate fibre, tower companies

Telecom operator Reliance Jio Infocomm on Tuesday said its board has approved schemes to spin off the company's fibre and tower assets to separate entities. “The board of directors of the company, at its meeting held today, accorded its approval to a scheme of arrangement for transfer of its fibre undertaking, on a going concern basis, to a separate company,” Jio said in a regulatory filing on ‘restructuring/ reorganisation proposals.’

“The board also cleared a similar proposal pertaining to transfer of its tower infrastructure "on a going concern basis, to a separate company,” it added.

The schemes are subject to statutory and regulatory approvals, it added but did not provide details. Jio has 2.20 lakh towers and nearly 3 lakh km of optical fibre assets -- all of which are leveraged for captive use so far. The latest move would

give the company the leeway to lease out the infrastructure in the fast-growing telecom market.

RIL’s telecom arm had reported a standalone net profit of Rs 681 crore for the September 2018 quarter, against a net loss of Rs 271 crore in the year-ago period.

Having amassed 252 million mobile subscribers, the company is now looking to foray into optical fibre-based broadband services in the country and accordingly announced Rs 5,230 crore majority stake acquisition plan in two fixed line broadband firms — Den Networks and Hathway Cable. The purchase is expected galvanise Reliance Jio's broadband services, Jio GigaFiber.