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Jio Infocomm to offer Pan-Indian 4G services

Indian operator Reliance Jio Infocomm has received approval from the country’s telecoms ministry to use its nationwide 4G spectrum to provide high-speed LTE services for voice and mobile broadband.

Jio Infocomm acquired its pan-India spectrum in 2010, paying around INR130 billion. It is the only operator in the country to hold any.

In August Jio Infocomm applied for a Unified Licence, which will replace its existing Internet Service Provider Licence once the operator has paid an upfront fee of INR16.73 billion ($273 million), as well as a performance bank guarantee of INR2.2 billion and a financial bank guarantee of INR440 million.

The operator has made no indication of when it plans to begin offering 4G services. The nationwide launch will be facilitated by a INR120 billion tower-sharing agreement signed earlier this year between Jio Infocomm and Reliance Communications (RCom).

RCom is a part of Reliance Group, which is headed up by Anil Ambani. His older brother Mukesh Ambani controls the separate entity Reliance Industries, which owns Jio Infocomm.

The tower-sharing agreement between the two operators is being interpreted as a sign that the two brothers are burying the hatchet. Relations have been frosty between them since their divided their father’s Reliance business in 2005.