Reliance Jio receives unified licence to offer telecom & voice telephony services across India

Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (RJIL), the telecommunications arm of Reliance Industries Ltd, has received a unified licence for all 22 services areas across India, as per a stock market disclosure. With this, RJIL has become the first telecom operator in India to get a pan-India unified licence.

The licence will allow RJIL to offer all telecom services, including voice telephony under a single licence.

RJIL signed the agreement on October 21, 2013 after submission of desired documents and payment of requisite entry fee.

After getting this unified licence, RJIL has migrated its existing ISP licence along with broadband wireless access (BWA) spectrum to the unified licence with authorisation for all services except global mobile personal communication by satellite service (GMPCS) under the unified licence in all service areas.

The unified licence guidelines were issued earlier this year when the Telecom Commission (TC) gave its approval to the companies holding internet services licences for 4G spectrum to provide voice services by paying an additional fee of around Rs 1,600 crore each.

In June this year, RJIL had signed an agreement with Reliance Communications Ltd (RCOM) for sharing RCOM’s nationwide telecom towers infrastructure. This had an aggregate value of over Rs 12,000 crore during the agreement’s lifetime. As per the pact, RJIL will use up to 45,000 ground- and rooftop-based towers across RCOM’s network for accelerated roll-out of its 4G services.

RJIL had applied for the unified licence around two months ago. A report by news agency PTI had quoted DoT secretary MF Farooqui saying that a few other unnamed players have also applied.

Other 4G spectrum holders which could be applicants and benefit from these guidelines are Augere and Tikona Digital. Tikona Digital is also raising fresh funding.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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