Brothers Ambani sign telecom deal

MUMBAI: The news shook the corporate world, though it had been speculated about for some time. The brothers Ambani – Mukesh and Anil - who had reportedly been warring for a few years kissed and made up today.

The duo announced that elder brother Mukesh’s Reliance Jio Infocomm (a unit of Reliance Industries) will be sharing younger sibling Anil’s Reliance Communications 120,000 km nationwide fibre optic network to help roll out his fourth generation broadband and telecom services in India.

The filing with the Bombay stock exchange says that the deal is worth Rs 12 billion which is being paid as a one time indefeasible right to use (IRU) fee for sharing the fibre optic network. It allows Reliance Communications to reciprocally share Reliance Jio’s fibre optic network infrastructure too.

The fibre optic network was built by Mukesh when Reliance was one entity, but was then handed over to Anil when the brothers split the empire their father built.

The deal is likely to help both companies, say analysts. It will accelerate the pace at which Reliance Jio Infocomm gets to market with 4G. It will also help Reliance Communications, which has been saddled with debt in excess of $6 billion (Rs 37,000 crore).

Both companies say that the deal is the first of many such arrangements they could end up signing.

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