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Reliance Industries to launch 4G services between Jun-Aug: report

New Delhi: Reliance Industries Ltd is expected to roll out high speed wireless broadband services, loosely termed 4G (fourth generation) services, between June and August, initially in Mumbai, Delhi and Jamnagar, as it readies to sign mobile network sharing deal soon, the Business Standard reported Monday.

The company has given a deadline between Jun and Aug to its vendors, the daily said quoting unnamed vendors.

The deal, which includes taking around 50,000 towers on lease, between RIL-owned Infotel Broadband and Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications' tower unit Reliance Infratel will be signed by Feb-end, the vendors added.

Reliance Infratel has more than 50,000 towers, a huge number of which is linked with a fibre-optic backbone, critical to make high-speed data transfer possible.

"For high movement of data, you need towers connected through a fibre optic backbone. Mukesh (Ambani), earlier instrumental in building this infrastructure before the company was given to younger brother Anil, is aware of where the fibre is available. Digging this kind of fibre from scratch, especially when right of way is becoming difficult, would take a lot of time," the newspaper quoted an unidentified chief executive of a major tower company as saying.

The deal, however, will not see any stake acquisition as of now, the vendors said.

Last week, The Economic Times citing two people privy to the development said that Infotel Broadband would pick 15-25% stake in Reliance Infratel, as a part of a possible mobile network sharing deal.

Infotel Broadband was the only company that had won BWA (Broadband Wireless Access) spectrum in all 22 circles in India, by paying Rs 128.48 billion in 2010.