Reliance Jio Infocomm on Tuesday announced that its board has cleared spinning off its fibre and tower assets into two separate units. With the new move, the telco will be able to widen its market presence and start monetising its new businesses. The decision is subject to all requisite statutory and regulatory approvals. In December last year, Reliance Jio announced the acquisition of mobile towers, spectrum, and other wireless infrastructure assets from Reliance Communications (RCom). The operator is presently the fastest-growing telco in the country with a monthly growth rate of 5.44 percent, with a total of 13.02 million customers, as per a recent report by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
“The Board of Directors of the Company, at its meeting held today, accorded its approval to: (i) a scheme of arrangement for transfer of its fibre undertaking, on a going concern basis, to a separate company (ii) a scheme of arrangement for transfer of its tower undertaking, on a going concern basis, to a separate company,” Reliance Jio said in a letter to stock exchanges. The operator also noted that both decisions will need to go through all requisite statutory and regulatory approvals.
Reliance Jio currently has nearly 2.20 lakh towers and fibre assets of close to 3 lakh route kilometres. It acquired towers, optic fibre cable network, spectrum, and media convergence nodes from RCom and its affiliates in December last year. In October this year, the Mumbai-based company also picked up a majority stake in Hathway and Datacom to bolster the development around Jio GigaFiber.
The total customer base of Reliance Jio surpassed the milestone of 252 million, according to a TRAI report showing data as of September 30. The operator also led the market of wireless broadband with a 51.1 market share, thanks to its 4G-only network, followed by Airtel with 97.05 million users and Vodafone with 51.81 million users.
Reliance Jio posted a net profit of Rs. 681 crores for the second quarter ended September 30. It also added 37 million new customers during the quarter – marking the highest growth in customers since its commercial launch. Moreover, the average revenue per user (ARPU) stood at Rs. 131.7 during the quarter.