Both operators have concluded a comprehensive telecom infrastructure-sharing arrangement, with both Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio sharing infrastructure created by both companies, reports The Times of India. The agreement includes fiber optic network, both inter and intra city, submarine cable networks, mobile towers, along with broadband internet and other opportunities in the future.
The cooperation is aimed at avoiding duplication of infrastructure, along with preserving capital and the environment. Furthermore, this new arrangement will provide redundancy in order to ensure seamless availability of services between customers on both networks. In the future, the arrangement could also extend to roaming on 2G, 3G, and 4G networks, as well as any other mutual benefiting areas of telecommunications.
So what does this mean for current subscribers and new customers? Most likely, there will be competitive pricing, aligned similarly between both operators. However, the biggest gain will be for Reliance Jio, as they will now have access to Bharti Airtel's 4G LTE network.
Reliance Jio and another operator, Aircel, are currently trying to secure second place with 4G LTE offerings across India, and now with this arrangement, clearly, Reliance Jio is in the lead. However, there have been reports of poor quality service on Bharti Airtel's existing 4G LTE network, and in turn, this could also reflect negatively on Reliance Jio too.
In addition to this arrangement, it would be great to see both operators expanding in different regions across India, again to avoid overlap and duplication. By consolidating expansion into mutually exclusive areas, both operators still stand to benefit and gain from the overall arrangement.