Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (RJIL), earlier Infotel Broadband, has tied with Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) to install ground-based masts (towers) needed for the launch of its much-awaited 4G services.
Under a path-breaking 20-year deal, RJIL has identified 126 locations in Navi Mumbai for the roll-out. Sources say the company is looking at setting up over 8,000 of these in-house designed towers across Mumbai and its suburbs as part of its bid to launch the 4G services in the city.
Confirming the development, Sagar Naik, mayor of NMMC, said they were the first civic body to give consent for such a proposal. "RJIL has offered to give a free bandwidth for CCTVs and also live fibre across Navi Mumbai. RJIL has agreed to pay the necessary rents and charges in line with the Centre and state government norms." While NMMC has already given an in-principal approval, a final go-ahead will be given in its general body meeting to be held on February 15. Reliance Industries Ltd, which controls the 4G company, declined to comment. RJIL has also initiated talks with the Greater Mumbai Municipal Corporation for a similar deal. The company is expected to launch 4G services in Mumbai, Delhi and Jamnagar sometime in the middle of this year.
The towers or ground masts would be 25-30 metres high and will generate lower radiation, but will also give a smaller area coverage (which is why you will require more towers) and will have emergency battery back-up instead of requiring diesel generators, which make operations less expensive.
RJIL will also link these towers with a fibre optic backbone on which surveillance cameras would be hosted. The company will also provide the corporation with free broadband of 10 MBPS to link the cameras to a central location of the police commisionarate to help them in providing security to the citizens of the city.
The towers will also be used as lamp posts with at least 2x400 watts of six or eight high-mast fittings.
As part of the deal, RJIL will make the investment for setting up the entire infrastructure, while maintenance will be done by NMMC. As the towers would require not more than 2x2 meters of space, Reliance will pay the rent which will be chargeable according to the ready reckoner of that year for the period of 30 years.
The company has also put in a request to drill and lay optic fibre across the 186-km long Navi Mumbai city. RJIL will have to give a security deposit of Rs 50 per metre of the optic fibre being laid to NMMC in the form of bank guarantee.
RJIL has also finalised a pan-India term deal (till the end of its licence period) with Anil Ambani-controlled Reliance Infratel to lease out its 50,000 towers across the country, which will complement its move to build the low emission towers on its own.